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Tuesday, September 27

WHO survey shows Akl needs smart green transport

A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released today shows that Auckland needs a smart green transport plan for cleaner air.

The WHO survey shows Auckland has New Zealand's worst air pollution, which is at levels nearly double that of Sydney.



"More people in Auckland are dying from air pollution than in road crashes," said Green Party transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

"This survey comes soon after a report to the Auckland Council estimated more than 700 premature deaths a year result from air pollution, should serve as a wake-up call.

"If these deaths happened all at once it would be recognised as a national tragedy and would be the subject of an official inquiry.
"Air pollution costs our health system, it's bad for our people and it's bad for the economy."

Mr Hughes said there was a need for central government leadership on smart green transport funding and on emissions testing for vehicles.

"This Government has effectively cut funding for public transport, walking and cycling, and abandoned fuel economy standards for cars. The last Government didn't do enough to improve public transport or establish stricter emissions testing for vehicles either," said Mr Hughes.

"Transport decisions over successive governments have seen Aucklanders paying high health, fuel and transport costs.

"New Zealanders want and need smart green transport investment. Aucklanders want a vibrant city they can get around, without having to fill it with cars and smog.

"The Green Party will work constructively with the next Government to get better buses and trains, safe walking and cycling, and cleaner air for Auckland," said Mr Hughes.