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Statement in response to NZ Herald story

Statement in response to NZ Herald story ‘Cullen to Auckland: pay more for roads’

16 May 2006

Responding to the disclosure of reported comments made by Finance Minister Michael Cullen at a closed meeting of the Auckland Mayoral Forum last week, Auckland Regional Council Chairman Michael Lee says the region’s local councils and central government agree that Auckland’s transport problems are serious and need fixing, and that they are seeking the best ways to do that.

Mr Lee was unwilling to talk about the details of the meeting but said the outcome was positive.

“We established that there is a lack of alignment with some of our objectives; for instance, Auckland’s rail project.

As a result, work is underway right now between officials in Wellington and Auckland to align our long-term objectives. Essentially, we are talking about whether we electrify Auckland’s rail network or not.”

Until we can reach agreement on this and other issues, talk about rates or who is paying for what, is quite pointless.”

Further details about the Auckland public transport funding gap are contained in Chapter 1 of the ARC Long-Term Council Community Plan 2006-16, and its summary document Region Wide, found at www.arc.govt.nz


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