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National Gets "Serious" About Auckland Transport?

31 January 2000 Media Statement

National Gets "Serious" About Auckland Transport Issues: So What Were They Doing For 10 Years – Twiddling Their Thumbs?

"If National is only getting serious about Auckland's transport problems now – then what were they doing for the past ten years – twiddling their thumbs?," wondered Transport Minister and Maungakiekie MP Mark Gosche.

He was responding to National's latest transport spokeswoman, List MP and former Maungakiekie MP Belinda Vernon, who in congratulating herself says her party now wants to get serious about Auckland transport.

"This proves that National has seen Auckland's traffic woes as small, insignificant issues that could easily be ignored for a good ten years."

"We've done more in 12 months than National even bothered to do in a decade: by actually doing something we are doing more than the opposition ever tried to do. We are working alongside local government and local people. Unlike National and specifically Ms Vernon, the Labour-Alliance coalition is made up of many MPs who represent and were voted in by Auckland people."

Last year the Labour-Alliance coalition boosted passenger transport with current spending of $46 million boosted by $27 million per annum within three years. If capital expenditure from projects already under investigation was also included total extra funding could exceed $47 million. Much of this is to be spent in the Auckland region.

Ms Vernon also made it clear in her release that she was not interested in making policy off the hoof.

"Well that's all very well – but I suggest that she starts by having a National Party transport policy: having a policy is a good beginning if her party is so serious about an issue that affects every single New Zealander."

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