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We’re delighted that Govt will be our partner

“We’re delighted that Government will be our partner”

29 March 2001

“The news that Government will be stepping in to negotiate purchase of the Auckland rail network in partnership with Auckland is very good news,” said ARC Chairman Philip Warren today following a regional meeting with Ministers Michael Cullen and Mark Gosche.

“Transport is Auckland’s greatest problem. We’re pleased that the Government has recognised this and has indicated today that it is keen to help Auckland take an important step towards achieving a better public transport network as part of the solution.”

“The councils of the region have been negotiating with Tranz Rail to buy the Auckland rail corridors since 30 June 2000. We are pleased that the Government recognises that we have been pursuing the very best option for the region and wants to be our partner in completing the purchase,” said Mr Warren.

“The Government has recognised the high calibre of the work that the region has put into negotiating a deal with Tranz Rail and the Government will be using all of our material in its negotiations to purchase the Auckland network.”

“The region urgently requires the purchase to be completed as soon as possible. The ARC must make some major decisions around providing new rolling stock even to continue the existing service beyond June 2003 when Tranz Rail’s contract expires, and these decisions need to be made this June. Government has recognised the urgency of Auckland’s situation and undertaken to work to our deadlines,” said Mr Warren.

“Dr Cullen has also given us assurances that the region will have control over the network, to develop the services and facilities that Auckland desperately needs.”

“The whole point of gaining access to the network is to develop a vastly improved, convenient rapid transit service that will be integrated with all other public transport services in Auckland and we are one step closer to that today. I am sure that all local body politicians will be supportive of this turn of events,” said Mr Warren.

For further information please call: ARC Chairman Philip Warren, ph 09 366 2000

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