Thoughts on a $20 tax for cycleways in Christchurch

This post follows on from my comments about pandering the cost of catering for cars. Once again the Christchurch City Council have shown their true colours by singling cycling infrastructure out as an “extra $20 tax” to provide the 70 million dollars needed for separated cycle paths in the new three year plan.  At the same time,  according to Yani Johannson on Twitter, yesterday they have voted to put $55 million EXTRA into a Rugby Stadium.  Using the same formula as the CCC has used for cycling infrastructure This amounts to a extra tax of $15.70 for Christchurch people but which apparently we don’t get to debate as an extra (although we do, of course, as part of the submission process which I guess must be the same process in which we will be able to debate the cycleway tax).  Quite what Bob is playing at is difficult to know but it looks like he’s just trying to put obstacles in front of the development of bike infrastructure.

Rates ARE taxes! The media and Bob Parker and perhaps the rest of the Councillors seem to have forgotten this fact.  If they want to break it down like this perhaps they could also break down the costs of other infrastructure such as road maintenance.  As yet we don’t know what the CCC plans to spend on roading and parking facilities  and all those things that they provide for cars over the next three years but you can bet it will be several times the $20 they are talking about here.


4 thoughts on “Thoughts on a $20 tax for cycleways in Christchurch”

  1. I am really keen keen to cough up my $ 20 but I am not sure if this discussion is heading the right way. If the council decides not go ahead with the extra$ 20 what then? Is it not the council’s responsibility to provide safe cycling facilities for everybody and should this not be covered by normal rates? Is cycling now regarded as a nice to have? If the council sees cycling a serious means of transportation then cycling infrastructure needs to be funded out of general rates, just like sidewalks, parking spaces and roads for cars. Nonetheless, if $20 means that we can get safe cycling in Christchurch I would be delighted to pay my share!

    I also found some comments made on The Press quite interesting: “I am not going to use them so I do not want to pay for them”. Driving is hugely subsided in NZ in all kind of ways. Apart from that taxes and rates have always been for the common good and individual usage has never been taken into account (for good reasons).

  2. If safe cycling has a future in ChCh, cyclists should contribute financially towards this. Vehicle users pay lots of tax to maintain roads in NZ.
    To encourage city workers to cycle, The CCC could provide, in partnership with private enterprise? a cycle park in the CBD. Eg: beside new city library. Users would pay a market fee for various services provided eg:
    Secure bike storage.
    Storage lockers for day use.
    Showers and toilets.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Ron. All ratepayers (including those who cycle) also pay lots of tax to construct and maintain roads, so it’s not really a case of cyclists not paying their fair share. For more details, see

      I think there is some planning to develop “bikestation” facilities in the central city; certainly there will be an element of that in the new transport interchange – see

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