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Auckland Will Get Its Regional Development Share

Auckland will get its share of the Government's regional development initiatives, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton told a meeting in Manukau today.

He said he'd heard mistaken suggestions from Aucklanders that the Government doesn't see Auckland as having regional development needs.

"I want to take the opportunity today to dispel those suggestions emphatically. Just like other regions, Auckland has been losing services too.

"Auckland will have the same opportunity as the rest of New Zealand to access regional development assistance. And just as with other regions, I am expecting that ideas will come from the bottom up.

"Different parts of Auckland will want to participate in different ways, because there are different needs across a region as big as this one. Auckland is not just one region. It is several. And like all regions of New Zealand there are particular characteristics, needs and opportunities."

Jim Anderton said it is impossible to consider economic development in Auckland without considering the enormous transport problems.

"Those are problems that can obviously only be solved on an Auckland-wide basis, and in partnership with central government. It's also not a problem that will be solved quickly, easily or cheaply.

"Auckland needs a bold vision for its transport future. In London and Sydney, someone had a vision of sophisticated rail systems, providing cheap, reliable and world-class connections. The challenge to Auckland is to come up with something just as visionary. Monorail. Underground. Maybe something very different.

"I am convinced that transport problems are likely to hold back Auckland's economic development potential. I believe this Government is committed to helping Auckland solve those problems, in partnership with the community," the Minister said.


Ends

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