National and labour have nothing to do with the new network. it was AT/Auckland council.
The "new network" was only possible by central government legislation changes that both Labour enacted and then National made modifications to - before that any bus company could register a commercial route (ie that didn't require a subsidy) and the regional council had very limited powers to decline the registration. Then the regional council had to put tenders out for subsidised services (eg evening/weekends that wouldn't be viable commercially). This led to perverse outcomes such as some companies registering a single commercial route one day a week, or withdrawing commercial routes effectively forcing then to be put out to tender.
The recent law changes allow the routes to be contracted as a unit (ie the bus company has to take the routes for an area as a package and can't cherry-pick). So while AT/Auckland Council have done a lot to improve public transport in Auckland, they were effectively powerless until the law changed. See the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2013
For people on the North Shore, I'd wait and see how the new network works out for you - I have had personal experience with it in South and West Auckland and the services are a lot more frequent. Multi storey carparks are not cheap - need lifts, large circulation areas for vehicles, fire sprinklers, monitoring and so on - makes the cost per park quite expensive to the point where I suspect most people wouldn't pay.