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Honouring the Labour Party Pledge: Rapid-Rail

3 April 2007

Honouring the Labour Party Pledge: a Rapid-Rail System for Auckland

At long last, central Government is giving serious thought to providing an electrified rapid-rail system for Auckland

For at least 34 years, MPs have been arguing about a rapid-rail system for Auckland including the electrification of the southern corridor.

Now that we are living in 2007, it is fair to presume that a snail would have made the decision faster than New Zealand MPs, namely,

* to construct an electrified rapid-rail system for Auckland that is fully funded by central Government.

A modern, electrified, rapid-rail system was promised by a Labour Government prior to the elections of 1973.

Therefore, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the Labour Party should honour its pledge and walk the talk.

1. Below are examples when in 1973, MPs on both sides of the House * supported an electrified rapid-rail system for Auckland, and * when MPs referred to the Labour Party promise to meet the capital costs of rapid-rail construction and electrification.

Hansard, 1973

Hon. Hugh Watt said that... "what the Labour Party had promised to do as the Government was to provide a modern rail system for the city of Auckland."

"It had promised to meet the capital charges on the construction of a rail system, and it had agreed to the electrification of the southern corridor, which was stage I of a new rail system."

Mr Highet said that... "Surely the whole purpose of a rapid-rail system was that people should leave their cars at home. From what he had seen of the Government's recommendation, people would certainly not be leaving their cars at home, and congestion on the roads would be worse than ever."

Mr Moore said that... "Wellington's rail system had been provided by the taxpayers, but the member for Wellington Central would deny the same opportunity to Aucklanders.

The charge for Auckland's rapid-rail system should be borne by the taxpayers and not by the ratepayers.

If the National Government had had its way the ratepayers in his own electorate would have been asked to contribute $300 to $400 to provide a rapid transport system that was vital if the city of Auckland was to survive instead of being strangled by motorways… A rapid-rail system was the alternative to slashing out the centre of cities, as has happened in Newton. …

It had been pledged by the Labour Party at election time, and the pledge was being honoured."

ENDS

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