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Transit the biggest blockage in the system

Hon John Banks QSO Mayor of Auckland City

3 August 2004

Transit the biggest blockage in the system

“The citizens of Auckland have a can-do attitude even if Transit continues to perpetrate the ‘can’t do’ attitude,“ Auckland City Mayor Hon John Banks said today in response to Transit’s latest opposition to the proposed V8 Supercar street race.

Mr Banks said Transit is being churlish despite earlier saying it wouldn’t be.

A 6 May 2004 Transit memo stated that if local authorities agreed and Auckland City could deliver a plan as good as that used during APEC ‘it would seem churlish and perhaps against regional development, for Transit to be implacably opposed to the event.”

“The reality is our plan will be comprehensive and we will leave no stone unturned. Transit will be shown sadly wanting when Auckland City and IMG present their reply before the independent planning commissioners on Thursday.”

Mr Banks said during the 1999 APEC conference of 21 world leaders traffic coming south over the Harbour Bridge was cut by 53 per cent. The V8 event requires a traffic reduction of 40 per cent on this route.

“We can do this and we will do it well. It will be a huge international event for New Zealand and we don’t want to lose it because of some narrow-minded churlishness. Transit and the Mayor of North Shore just need to take a deep breath and get over their dog in the manger attitude.”

Mr Banks said modern day Cassandras are alive and well at Transit New Zealand and the Mayor’s office at the North Shore. He believes their prophecies of doom will be unheeded.

“Let’s not forget that the Transit bureaucrats were the same people who predicted the Hikoi of Hope would bring Auckland to a standstill and could collapse the clip-ons on the Harbour Bridge. Neither happened and in fact, police reported that traffic ran in a bath of oil. Back then motorists had two days’ notice. For the V8 event we’re giving them two years and we will be going to extraordinary lengths to put on extra public transport and providing alternative solutions.

“Overwhelmingly the people of Auckland, including the North Shore, want the V8 race and want to work with us. Auckland motorists have proven they are capable of making allowances and positively changing their behaviour for the greater good. It will be an outrage if Transit and the other ‘can’t do’s’ deny New Zealand of this opportunity to showcase itself to the world,” said Mr Banks.

ENDS

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