Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The Government’s rejection of Auckland’s proposed CBD loop underground rail link has more to do with National’s ideological dislike of Mayor Len Brown than it has to do with facts and figures, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Shane Jones.Shane Jones
Labour List MP based in Auckland Central
31 May 2011
Steven Joyce Commits ‘Hate Crime Against Rail’
The Government’s rejection of Auckland’s proposed CBD loop underground rail link has more to do with National’s ideological dislike of Mayor Len Brown than it has to do with facts and figures, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Shane Jones.
“The Government’s review will end up forcing Super City ratepayers to find extra money to build the link,” Shane Jones said. “Transport Minister Steven Joyce’s review of the Auckland proposal always had the agenda of trying to leg-trip Len Brown.”
Describing Steven Joyce’s review as a “hatchet job”, Shane Jones and Labour List MP based in Auckland Central Jacinda Ardern said the Government is “pigheadedly and arrogantly dismissing what Aucklanders overwhelmingly want. Aucklanders want a highly-modernised public transport system that includes the rail link.”
Shane Jones said: “There is such a gulf between Mayor Len Brown’s cost-benefit analysis, based on advice from international experts, and Steven Joyce’s Wellington-flavoured figures that the Minister’s rejection is just not credible.
“I almost wonder if he has been looking at Fiji and not Auckland,” Shane Jones said.
Jacinda Ardern said that Auckland Central’s National MP had claimed that the Government supported the rail link. “Steven Joyce has proved today that’s simply not the case.
“For those who work and live in the CBD the case for the rail link is clear,” Jacinda Ardern said. “It has the ability to transform our city and have a profoundly positive benefit for our economy.
“Steven Joyce has called for the council to explore other public transport possibilities, but with bus capacity in the inner city constrained and trains almost at capacity, the rail link is a logical and absolutely necessary next step.”
Shane Jones said: “Labour wants to work with Len Brown and the council to find economic solutions that draw on our collective public strength as well as private innovation. Steven Joyce’s ideological view is that cars are best. Aucklanders are telling me that his policy position is equivalent to a hate crime against rail.”