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Council Says ‘Yes’ To Government Offer

5 April 2001

Auckland City Council is supporting in principle the Government’s offer to take over negotiations with Tranz Rail Limited aimed at securing regional control of Auckland rail corridors.

A special meeting of the Council today also welcomed the Government paying the cost of the lease and its determination to reduce the price of access to the region’s rail network down from $112 million.

Mayor Chris Fletcher said the Government’s move to take over the rail negotiations signalled its support for completing a deal, at a more reasonable price, which would enable Auckland’s councils to start implementing a high quality public transport network.

“The Government’s support will maintain the momentum for improved rail services in the Auckland region and allow the councils to get on with planning the roll-out.

“We ask that they work to complete a deal by June, so that we are in a position to continue rail services when Tranz Rail’s contract expires in 2003,” she said.

Auckland councils who are a party to the rail negotiations are being asked to agree to the Government’s offer by next Tuesday (10 April).

Mrs Fletcher said the agreement of Auckland City Council in principle is subject to an outcome that allows the region to deliver an effective rapid transit system.

Minister of Finance Dr Michael Cullen said in a letter tabled at today’s meeting that, like the Auckland councils, the Government is critically interested in finding solutions to Auckland’s traffic congestion.

“Also, like Auckland Councils, the Government considers that improving rail passenger transport will be part of any solution.”

Once the government had finalised negotiations with Tranz Rail Ltd, the rail corridors would be sub-leased to a Local Authority Trading Enterprise being established by Auckland’s councils.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Chris Fletcher, Auckland City Mayor, tel: 025 276 0013.


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