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Positive progress on rail deal

MEDIA RELEASE 1 October 2001

Positive progress on rail deal

Auckland Region Mayoral Forum chair, Chris Fletcher has welcomed the significant progress between the Crown and Tranz Rail on principal terms towards concluding purchase of the region’s rail corridors.

Mrs Fletcher says, the region is encouraged by the positive progress and indicative terms announced today. “We strongly support the speedy completion of the agreement in accordance with the region’s timeframe to implement our rapid transit system. This is what was expected and it is pleasing that the government has delivered.”

Both the Crown and Tranz Rail are confident the final agreement can be concluded by early December. This is necessary to meet the region’s timing for a new contract for improved passenger service provisions and development of the network.

The Minister of Finance briefed the Mayoral Forum on the negotiations last Friday and a number of other senior politicians from around the region have also been consulted on the negotiated terms.

“This is a good example of central and local government partnership. As a region we will continue to work closely with the Crown to ensure a positive outcome is achieved for Auckland,” said Chris Fletcher.

The region will report back to individual councils as the final terms and conditions are resolved closer to the conclusion of the agreement.

Auckland Regional Council chairman Philip Warren said the results of negotiations represent a significant move towards building the public transport components necessary for an effective and balanced solution to Auckland’s increasing growth and transportation issues for decades to come. “The region can continue pushing forward with plans for developing a rapid transit system. All efforts are now focussed on progressing rapid transit as quickly as we can,” said Mr Warren.

Work is currently underway on the funding and planning processes for the passenger transport network adopted by councils in the Auckland region. It is expect that the region will call for tenders for the first stages of the system in the next twelve months.

Mrs Fletcher says securing the rail corridors is an important strategic piece of the regional jigsaw to address Auckland transport problems. “The deal is on track and we can get on with our passenger transport projects,” says Chris Fletcher.

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