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Auckland Region Welcomes Crown Offer

March 29, 2001


Auckland Mayoral Forum chair, Chris Fletcher has welcomed an offer from the crown to buy back the Auckland rail network lease following a meeting today with Ministers Michael Cullen and Mark Gosche.

Mrs Fletcher says it is a very positive announcement for the Auckland region. “We have been looking to the government for some time to assist with securing access to the rail corridors. This outcome is one the region has sought for two years and signals a clear willingness to work in partnership on solutions to our transport issues.”

The region has been given assurances that the Government will work towards meeting the existing timeframes with a June deadline to conclude the agreement with Tranz Rail Ltd.

Under the offer proposed to the Mayoral Forum the Government will purchase the lease for the Auckland rail network, and then lease it back to the Auckland region.

Mrs Fletcher says she believed the $112 million agreement for the lease and infrastructure was too high and welcomed the Governments involvement in finalising the negotiations.

“Once the Crown has completed the agreement with Tranz Rail the region can get on with implementing plans for a quality regional passenger service. We were also given the assurance that the region will have sufficient control over the network to deliver the service needed,” said Chris Fletcher.

Meetings will be held next week by the Councils party to agreement with Tranz Rail to allow the Crown to take over negotiations with Tranz Rail to purchase the rail lease and infrastructure.

Mrs Fletcher said she expected more detail on the offer next week and the Mayoral Forum would meet again with government ministers on 20 April.

Ends.


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