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Mayors upbeat over Eastern Transport Corridor

MEDIA RELEASE


Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City

Sir Barry Curtis
Mayor of Manukau City

9 March 2004


Mayors upbeat over Eastern Transport Corridor

The recommended option and economic justification reports received by the Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group from consultants today take the project forward, ease many residents’ fears and reconfirm the corridor must be built, said the Mayors of Auckland and Manukau cities, Hon John Banks and Sir Barry Curtis.

“Today is all about the steering group receiving reports and publicly releasing the route and transport mode recommended by the consultants. A lot of information now needs to be digested and work done by the steering group, then both councils and the board of Transit New Zealand,” said Mr Banks.

Opus International recommends the multi-modal corridor accommodate cars, trains, pedestrians, cyclists, and buses with dedicated bus lanes.

“Today’s release of the recommended route option gives certainty to many residents. I am particularly pleased Purewa Cemetery, the burial place of the late Sir Robert Muldoon and many other Auckland citizens, will not be traversed. The people of Meadowbank’s worst fears have not been realised. At Hobson Bay, my preference is the tunnel option, underneath both the bay and Parnell to connect with Grafton Gully in the CBD but much technical work first needs to be completed. I am very focussed on maximum environmental mitigation,” said Mr Banks.

The 27-kilometre long Eastern Transport Corridor has been on the books for many decades and is part of the region’s land transport strategy.

Sir Barry: “The BERL economic report also released today makes plain that the corridor is much more than a transport project. It’s not just about moving people and goods. It’s about energising economic growth and jobs along the corridor and throughout the region.

“The corridor will be an investment in Auckland’s growth-led future and assist in achieving the government growth objectives for New Zealand,” said Sir Barry.

Mr Banks: “This is now as much of a project for financiers as it is for engineers. I am encouraged by the positive interest from many people representing international investor consortiums from around the world. We look forward to assessing the contribution they are seeking to bring to the project.”

Both mayors strongly reaffirmed their commitment to the urgent completion of Auckland’s transport network.

“To give Auckland a proper integrated network with options you need to build the Eastern Transport Corridor. The planned network needs to be urgently actioned by bulldozers on the ground,” said Sir Barry.

“Individual property owners who could be affected along the recommended route will be informed by a letter of the exact situation as soon as possible,” said Sir Barry.

The two mayors welcomed today, describing it as a significant milestone towards achieving the goal of network completion. They indicated formal decisions on the next steps of the corridor would be taken in April and May.

Ends

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