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Time to Mothball Wynyard Quarter Tram

Press Release

Time to Mothball Wynyard Quarter Tram

“I’m more horrified than surprised at plans by Auckland Council to extend the failed Wynyard Quarter tram service and connect it to Britomart,” says Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry. “The idea that because something has completely failed it needs to have more money spent on it is an inherent sickness present in far too many politicians.”

“A council trying to upgrade and extend an outmoded and obsolete form of transport which has dismally failed to meet its patronage forecasts reminds me of the Federal Register in the USA which still stores information on 3.5 inch floppy disks. The free market adapts and innovates based on the needs of their customers; government pours more money down the well.”

Berry says that at a time when property owners are hurting from rates increases driven by increased property values, Council should be taking every opportunity it can to reduce the burden. “This tram service has cost ratepayers $16 million thus far. It might be a drop in the ocean compared to the $1.2 billion being borrowed this year, but a mindset of fiscal prudency applied to all council functions certainly adds up to rate cuts if our elected representatives are sufficiently disciplined.”

Berry says tram service supporter Geoff Houtman’s claims that the people are calling for action on extending the tram service are somewhat disingenuous. “All the people I spoke to in the last election told me that the only action they wanted taken was to have this novelty relic shut down. Mr. Houltam’s claims that Council needs to provide tourists with activities to pursue also do not stack up. Who flies all the way from another country to ride a tram?”

Mr. Houltam also believes that if the tram is a waste of money then motorway links must be too. Berry says, “This guy needs a lesson in the basic fundamentals of economics. Our motorways are jammed with traffic while this $16 million tram service runs loops empty. How can he even try to compare the two and appear credible?”

Stephen Berry was the Affordable Auckland candidate for Mayor in the 2013 Local Body elections. He finished in third place with 13650 votes.


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