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National’s lack of ambition holding Auckland back

1 March 2013

National’s lack of ambition holding Auckland back

Steven Joyce’s predictable response to a government-commissioned report on the future of Auckland is typical of this government’s lack of vision and lack of ambition for our largest city, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

Professor Michael Enright’s report, commissioned by the government and Auckland Council, states that for Auckland to be an economically competitive city, crucial investments are needed in transport, particularly the City Rail Link and a rail link to the airport, and compact urban form, rather than the government’s policy of continued sprawl.

“Aucklanders will be justifiably disappointed that the Government’s first reaction to a report on the future of Auckland is to dismiss any ideas that are not consistent with National’s ideology,” said Ms Genter.

“Professor Enright’s report backs the calls from Aucklanders and the city’s business leaders for investment in the City Rail Link and a more compact urban form leading to a lively, liveable city. It is yet another report showing that the National Government is pushing Auckland in the wrong direction.

“How many New Zealand and international experts need to confirm the economic necessity of the City Rail Link before the Government will wake up and make it a priority?

“Minister Joyce’s reaction just shows how out of touch the National Government is with the dreams and aspirations of Aucklanders. National’s plan for Auckland is a recipe for more sprawl, higher transport costs, more congestion, more pollution, unaffordable housing, and a less vibrant city.

“The Government should be investing in bringing our largest city up to world-class standard, starting with a world-class rail system and ending sprawl. Instead, it is wasting billions on uneconomic highways such as Transmission Gully and the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway.

Aucklanders and all New Zealanders deserve better. We need a government that will invest in smart, green projects that will make our the best places in the world to raise our families. It’s clear that National isn’t that government,” said Ms Genter.

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