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Eastern Corridor Alliance

April 9, 2002

Auckland and Manukau cities with Transit New Zealand are to investigate a tripartite alliance agreement aimed at completing the Eastern Corridor as soon as possible.

In a joint announcement, Auckland Mayor John Banks, Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis and Transit NZ chairman Alan Bickers expressed commitment to working together to complete the missing links in the region’s long-planned transport network.

An Eastern transport corridor has been proposed as a key part of the network since the 1960s, traversing Auckland and Manukau cities and has the potential to become a vital link in the region’s State Highway network as well as for improved passenger transport services.

Following a tripartite meeting in Wellington last week, the two Mayors and Transit Chairman agreed to investigate specific MoU which would set out protocols for a way forward.

Auckland City will lead the project, and has issued expressions of interest to commence the development of corridor options.

Sir Barry Curtis stressed that the Auckland Mayoral Forum Priority Action Plan unveiled in February calling for faster and more co-ordinated action to complete the region’s transport network meant that the days of talking process had come to an end. “We are now in an action phase. It’s our job to put our leadership on the line and progress the corridor with no more delays.”
Mr Banks described the alliance as a logical way to proceed, given the project’s complexities and opportunities to be funded from the private sector under the transport package arrangements recently announced by Government. “Our aim is to complete the planning phases thoroughly and efficiently so we can get the work on the ground started next year.”

Both Mayors and Mr Bickers stressed that the alliance was a voluntary agreement. They stated an intention to manage the implementation of the project in an open and inclusive way; to ensure full consultation occurs with other key stakeholders at each step, and in particular central government, Auckland Regional Council’s Land Transport Committee, and other regional and local communities including business and environmental groups.

ENDS

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