Mike Lee blocked From Rail Working Group
Cr Mike Lee, ARC
The ARC Passenger Transport Committee today voted to block pro-rail advocate Mike Lee from being appointed to the ARC's Rail Working Group. The Group was established in March to "oversee the development and implementation of a process for appointing a new rail services operator."
The group is made up of Chair of the Passenger Transport Committee, Catherine Harland and her deputy Michael Barnett, as well as the chair of the Council Gwen Bull and her deputy Philip Sherry.
The Passenger Transport Committee voted unanimously to appoint pro-road Councillor Craig Little but was split when Crs Dianne Glenn and Gwen Bull nominated Mr Lee.
For Mr Lee
Cr Gwen Bull,
Cr Dianne Glenn,
Cr Brian Smith,
Cr Mike Lee
Against Mr Lee
Cr Bill Burrill,
Cr Craig Little,
Cr Ian Bradley,
and Cr Harland.
Cr Harland used her casting vote to block Mr Lee's appointment.
Mr Lee said it was ironic that it was a group of Councillors, most of whom were promoted as "Roads first' at the last council elections should veto the appointment of a known pro rail advocate. Mr Lee has been a critic of the ARC's approach to Auckland's rail services.
Earlier in the meeting Mr Lee had complained at the lack of information given to ARC members on Auckland's rail project and said that decisions were being made often by transport officers before elected members had been given the necessary information. He contrasted the ARC vetoing of the Government Transport advocate Grant Kirby's M Train proposal after much critical scrutiny with a conditional agreement undertaken taken by Council officers to buy second hand carriages from Australia before the Council had been advised of the deal.
Mr Lee said that the Councillors who blocked his appointment were putting petty politics ahead of ensuring a robust and inclusive decision-making process.