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AG Called To Investigate Auck Region Rail Service

Auditor General Called On To Investigate Auckland Regional Rail Service

The Auditor General was today asked to conduct an investigation into expenditure by the Auckland Regional Council on commuter rail to determine whether ratepayers have received value for money.

The request was made by a former Mayor of Papakura and regular user of the Auckland rail system, Mr David Hawkins.

“The people I travel with are fed up with the inability of the ARC to achieve a reliable rail service. We want some independent answers as to why ratepayers have contributed so much over the years only to be saddled with such a dog. “Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent by the ARC on setting up special units to oversee a revamp of the structure for commuter rail. Rail and financial consultants have been engaged at huge cost over the past five years to advise these units. The outcome has been an ongoing rail system that is considered by users to be unreliable, inefficient and immensely costly to ratepayers.

“Now that ratepayers are faced by huge increases in rates, much of it for transport, I believe they deserve to know just how efficient or inefficient the ARC is in administering its rail strategies. Hopefully the Auditor General’s Office will be able to give us some answers.

“I’m asking the Auditor-General to find out if money has been spent in a manner that ensures value for expenditure; whether best practice administration has been followed; how much has been spent on consultancy, including financial advisers, and whether this spending has achieved the outcomes required.

“If the outcomes wanted were the type of service we’re getting now then the conclusion would have to be that something is sadly wrong at the ARC.

“I’m sure many fellow commuters will be as interested as I am in whether the Auditor-General considers the ARC has followed correct procedures and best practice processes in its dealings with Tranz Rail to obtain acceptable service levels.

“It’s no good the ARC going on and on with promises and assurances when its track record on rail appears thoroughly flawed. Hopefully the Auditor-General will be able to cast some light on the situation.”

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