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John Banks should go in view of Highway report

5 May 2004

John Banks should go in view of Eastern Highway report, says Bruce Hucker

John Banks should consider his future as Mayor of Auckland, given that he staked his mayoralty on pushing through the Eastern Highway, says Auckland City mayoral contender, Bruce Hucker.

"The highway is a dead duck in view of the expert report from consultants Deloitte which shows that it would need a $250 million subsidy every year, and that's before land purchases. With council spending on consultants at $13 million, even before paying for the Deloitte report, the project should be abandoned forthwith before any more precious funds are thrown at it.

"This exposure of John Banks's reckless use of ratepayers' money to push a no-hope project should see him now simply resign," said Dr Hucker.

"John Banks claimed private funders would be keen to help build the highway and the Government should also be putting in substantial funding. Given that the Deloitte reports says the project 'is unlikely to be financially feasible as a privately financed toll-funded project' and the Government has said 'No way!' to special funding for it, John Banks really has no option but to do the honourable thing and go."

Dr Hucker said there were much better transport projects that needed the limited funding available. These included completion of the State Highway 20 connection from Manukau to the Northwest Motorway at Rosebank Road and accelerating major improvements to public transport.

ENDS


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