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Arise, Sir Robert

Murray McCully MP for Albany

4 October 2000

Arise, Sir Robert

Auckland Mayoral Forum chair and Labour Party President Bob Harvey should receive the recognition he deserves but, as it's unlikely to be granted by the current Government, it will have to be from the next National Government, National MP Murray McCully said today.

"This morning's shot across the Government's bow by Mr Harvey on behalf of the Auckland region speaks volumes of the level of frustration felt by the region's leaders after ten months of being messed around. In particular it is becoming evident to them that Transport Minister Gosche cannot cope with the big decisions needed by the region, and that Judith Tizard has only ever been there for ornamental purposes.

"Auckland's transport needs have, for some time, suffered at the hands of some negative and petty bureaucrats within the Ministry of Transport. The Government boasted that Ministers would get on top of the region's problems. But from the content of recent meetings and correspondence it is clear that Transport officials have got the better of Ministers Gosche and Tizard and are proceeding to bog the process down. That's why the Prime Minister has sidelined both Ministers and sent Heather Simpson to represent the Government at this Friday's talks with the Forum.

"Bob Harvey's comments fairly reflect the frustration and disappointment of all of the region's leaders. He probably won't earn any friends in the Labour Party, and probably won't appear on their honours list.

"But my advice is 'Don't worry Bob. Your friends in the next National Government will be vigorously arguing for you get the recognition you deserve for protecting the regions interests. By then we'll have brought back proper gongs. And if you promise to keep your trousers on perhaps you'll even be in the running to follow in the footsteps of one of the region's previous mayors into the Governor-Generalship'," Mr McCully said.

Ends

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