Greens Congratulate Government Over Rail Strategy
The Greens have welcomed the Government decision to take over negotiations with Tranz Rail so that the Auckland deal can be part of a wider national strategy.
"This is just what we have been urging them to do over the last few days and we congratulate them for making such a positive move," said Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.
"The proposal that Government should own the rail lease and sublet it to Auckland local bodies is just the sort of national-local partnership we have been advocating and allows consistency between the Auckland arrangements and a national rail policy, as Dr Cullen has said."
"The new Local Authority Trading Entity being set up to manage the Auckland corridor is the ideal partner with central Government in the proposal put forward by the Greens," said Ms Fitzsimons.
"There is now nothing to stop these negotiations being widened to include the whole track. We think the Government would be surprised what a good price it could agree if they take a national approach now. It would certainly be better value for money than setting a price just for Auckland and tackling the big picture later," she said.
"The involvement of a team of government negotiators talking to Tranz Rail should give confidence to all parties that this is not about delay, and that an outcome will result. Given this certainty a few more weeks to get the whole system right should still be able to meet Auckland's needs in time," said Ms Fitzsimons.