A robust debate on the funding of Auckland’s transport infrastructure is long overdue, but must not be undermined by petty nitpicking, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“Auckland transport has suffered a vacuum of leadership under National. Now debate has been sparked, it must be used to kick-start some much-needed Auckland transport projects.
“Labour offered a partnership between Auckland Council and central government to fund a City Rail Link. All National is doing is stifling debate and progressing its pet projects,” Phil Twyford said.
"National is determined to spend $1.3 billion on the ill-fated Puhoi-Wellsford holiday highway when that money could fund the central government's share of the City Rail Link.
"Worse still, the Auckland business lobby wants to sell the Ports of Auckland. The ports might net around $600 million. Selling them would fund only a quarter of the cost of the City Rail Link, but our ports would be gone for good.
"Auckland’s future can’t be about flogging off assets and just building more motorways. Aucklanders are crying out for better public transport and deserve solutions that future generations can be proud of.
“National came into government with 11 key commitments to New Zealanders. The second on that list included increasing investment in public transport. This cannot be another broken promise and another missed opportunity.
"Every Aucklander of a certain age knows that we should have listened to Mayor Robbie back in the 1970s and built the rapid rail then. Our generation cannot afford to let this opportunity slip through our fingers.
“Aucklanders want and deserve a world class transport system. We need decisions on how to pay for it now,” Phil Twyford said.