Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

A lot to be said for starting early

Singapore  installed Christmas lights in its main shopping street more than a week ago, well before the New Zealand Labour weekend.

This week, I got my reminder there are only 5 days to go to purchase Super Early Bird tickets for Singapore’s Formula 1. Only 11 months away in September next year.

As debate raged again in Auckland this week on the new government and the Auckland mayor’s plans to introduce a petrol tax to help fund decongestion plans, it was instructive to read Tim McCready’s overview of Singapore’s latest plans in the NZ Herald.

By 2021, all going well, Singapore will have led the world again with traffic management by introducing the first comprehensive GPS based road congestion pricing system.

But they started these plans a lot earlier. In 1975, Singapore became the world’s first city to introduce a form of road pricing to better manage traffic volumes.

There is broad agreement among New Zealand decision makers to introduce road pricing in Auckland to help reduce congestion. But the petrol tax plan isn’t about that. That’s just about raising some more of the money needed to provide other fixes.

New Zealand is the first major nation on earth to see the sun. We’d achieve more of Singapore’s economic success if we saw more of our agreed big plans rise sooner.


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