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Councillor Targets Wasteful Rail Spending


“Councillor Targets Wasteful Rail Spending”


18 February 2008

Manukau City Councillor Michael Williams has asked his fellow councillors to reconsider a 100 metre rail extension estimated to cost $10 million. Council currently proposes to build the rail platform and station in the Civic Centre Carpark which involves a rail tunnel under Davies Ave which separates the civic centre from Hayman Park.

“I favour building the platform above ground in Hayman Park with only the station in the Civic Centre carpark and a foot-tunnel under the road to Hayman Park.” says Cr Williams, “I have seen plenty of examples of the use of foot tunnels within enclosed station complexes in London and other cities to allow passengers to pass safely under roads. You don’t have to bring the rail itself across the road, a much more costly exercise.”

Cr Williams says he is dubious about the value of the rail link, but that if it is to be built it should not be a gold-plated solution.

Cr Williams, who has senior financial management experience in the private sector, says that he is working to increase the level of cost-consciousness at Manukau City Council. “Council Officers need to understand that that each and every $10 million project, whether this rail link extension or the ‘Ormiston Harbour Bridge’ adds at least $1 million in interest and operating costs per year and ultimately results in another 1% rates increase.

Cr Williams will be asking other councillors to back him in seeking a review of the project.


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