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“Focus On The Vision” Says ARC Chair

3 November 2000

The Chairman of the Auckland Regional Council, Mr Philip Warren, has today scotched suggestions that there is anything controversial in the proposal to take full assignment of the Auckland rail corridors rather than partial assignment and pay rent for the balance.

“If this option is adopted by the councils of Auckland, it will not cost the Auckland Region any more for the corridors than has been previously agreed with Tranz Rail,” Mr Warren said.

“It is simple arithmetic to capitalise the annual rental to a present sum – and the end result is potentially much better for the Region. Particularly when Tranz Rail will have to pay us an access rental if we go down this route.”

“The reported sum of $112m for purchase of the corridors is a substantial sum of money and naturally requires careful analysis before any commitments are made. Let us make sure we undertake that analysis on a fully informed basis.”

Mr Warren went on to say that it is factually incorrect to say the Auckland Regional Council asked for this option. The rail negotiators have been mandated throughout this process by the Region’s Councils to explore all deal options. This particular variation has been a possibility for some time.

“Frankly, these ill informed criticisms are a distraction. Our vision and focus is to acquire access to the corridors in the best way possible to enable delivery of a greatly enhanced passenger transport service to Aucklanders. We urge the media to encourage informed debate on the solutions to our transport congestion problems rather than reporting imaginary issues,” he said.

“There are clear answers to all the questions being raised concerning the rail deal. It is time for a more considered analysis by the media of the proposals before us. We are happy to engage constructively with all parties to explore the issues in depth and our approach to solving them,” said Mr Warren.

For further information please call: Philip Warren, phone 09 366 2000 x 7111
or Jo Mackay, community relations adviser, phone 09 366 2000 x 8041

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