Gulf News’ efforts to get ferry passenger numbers for the Hauraki Gulf Islands between 2017-2022, to see if they shed any light on the consistent decline in Mātiatia Wharf tax revenue, has hit a roadblock.
Auckland Transport says they cannot provide the information we asked for in our Local Government Official Information Act request because they do not hold it – because the figures relate to commercial operations of Sealink, Fullers and Belaire Ferries. Gulf News also got no response at all from Auckland Transport on the second part of the latest request asking for any information the organisation had and could release that would explain the decline in wharf tax revenue. We are currently appealing this decision to the Ombudsman’s office.
In the meantime, we did some more back of the envelope calculations with what publicly available information we could find.
Auckland Transport figures published last week show the legacy Mātiatia Wharf tax raised $1.1 million in 2017, falling to $969,000 and $926,000 in 2018 and 2019. By 2022 the annual take was down to $520,000. By comparison, in 2007, Mātiatia’s wharf tax raised $1.7million.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s Waiheke Local Economic Overview 2022 says there are 3,852 commuters who travel to or from Waiheke for work.
If, on average, each of those commuters takes two trips a day, five days a week and has four weeks annual leave, then they make 1,848,960 trips per year. With wharf “fees and levies” of 45.33 cents plus GST per passenger per one-way trip the expected annual take would be $838,133.57 plus GST.
With GST included that’s $444,000 more than the reported Mātiatia Wharf tax revenue in 2022. • Paul Mitchell
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!