Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Mayor loses the plot with his latest light rail push

Mayor loses the plot with his latest light rail push, say councillors

Three Auckland councillors say it’s a complete surprise that the Auckland Mayor is now actively pushing another costly rail project without any discussion with councillors nor is a Manukau light rail loop in any Auckland Transport or Auckland Council budget or plan.

Howick councillors Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart and Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer believe the Mayor needs to stop promising so much, and focus on delivering existing projects.

Their comments follow Len Brown’s surprise comments in a local paper last week, where he said: “We want to run light rail from Manukau up through Clover Park, all along Te Irirangi Drive, up to Highland Park, up Panmure Highway and back to Manukau.”

Dick Quax says: “This smacks of the Mayor’s 2006 promise to deliver light rail from Bucklands Beach to Mangere Bridge. He just can’t be taken seriously with these kinds of ridiculous promises which never come with any costings, backing or evidence. However, the alarming thing here is supposedly some kind of investigation is already underway - no doubt involving a raft a consultants. It needs to be stopped now, before the big bills start coming in.”

Cameron Brewer says: “I seriously think the Mayor has lost the plot. He keeps dreaming up all these projects with no idea of where the money is going to come from. He’s flaying all over the place. Delivering a funding plan for his City Rail Link is where his focus should be, not dreaming up local light rail projects with the sole hope of winning back some support in the south.”

Sharon Stewart has serious concerns about the costs and potential impact on ratepayers.

“Rates keep going up and council debt is soaring. The council is under enormous pressure to cut costs, yet the Mayor is racing around promising to spend even more. Let’s not forget that communities are already complaining that many of our town centres, parks and streets are untidy. I think we need to focus on delivering on council’s core business first and foremost before adding to the wish list,” says Ms Stewart.

Mr Brewer believes the Mayor’s obsession with rail is out of control.

“To think that almost all of Auckland Transport’s capital expenditure for public transport is going towards rail in 2014/15 when just one percent of Aucklanders take the train says it all. At the same time a paltry $1.4m is being allocated to new buslanes across the region when buses take 80% of our public transport users. The Mayor’s latest pet project proves he’s completely lost perspective.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Court Sends Back TPP Decision: 'Blanket Approach' In Turning Down OIA Not Lawful

"When the minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the act for withholding official information," Justice Collins said in his judgment. More>>


CTU Conference: Helen Kelly On Standing Down

So now I have left you a big list of jobs to do when I go, I do want to talk about leaving for a little bit. I am going to miss this job. It is, believe it or not – fun and interesting ... More>>


Members' Bills: Seymour Lodges Assisted Dying Bill

“The End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the anguish faced by a small but significant minority of people with terminal illness or who are grievously and irremediably ill, as they anticipate the prospect of intolerable suffering and the indignity of the final few days and weeks of their lives,” said Mr Seymour. More>>


Activism: SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales

The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington against the sale of state housing by the Government. At midday thirty to forty protestors marched from Civic Square to Parliament accompanied by the sounds of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band. More>>

1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news