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National Gives Transport An Auckland Focus

31 January 2001

The allocation of the shadow Transport portfolio to Auckland MP Belinda Vernon reflects National's seriousness in wanting to see Auckland's transport woes addressed.

"Traffic congestion is 'the' Auckland issue. If Auckland is moving the rest of the country is better off. Daily gridlock only puts the brakes on our future. Effective transport networks impact on both our social and commercial quality of life. We have to do better," Belinda Vernon said today.

"I intend to hold the Government to account. It has so far failed to deliver any action despite all its pre-election rhetoric. At the same time I will ensure that National develops clear transport policies that will complement the work being done by others to rid the city of the snarl-ups which waste Aucklanders' time.

"There is no single solution. Completing the motorway network and improving public transport are key priorities. I look forward to working with key protagonists in Auckland to ensure National develops a clear and comprehensive transport policy."

In addition to the Transport portfolio she is now also Opposition spokesperson on Arts, Culture and Heritage.

"Arts, Culture and Heritage make us who we are. I look forward to building relationships with the many people involved in the sector. No government can prescribe culture, but it can encourage, nurture and protect the things that are important to us as New Zealanders.

"I don't intend to make policy on the hoof. In both portfolio areas I want to meet the key players, understand the issues and lead policy development that hits the right note with Aucklanders and New Zealanders alike," Ms Vernon said.


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