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Clark & Tizard: What Auckland Transport Problem?

Clark & Tizard: What Auckland Transport Problem?

Tuesday 5th Dec 2000 Penny Webster Media Release -- Other

It is surprising that after a year of addressing the Auckland transport crisis the Prime Minister still won’t be honest with the Auckland Mayoral Forum and admit she has no idea what’s going on, said ACT Transport spokesman Penny Webster.

The Prime Minister criticised Auckland for putting too much focus on the rail corridor deal and not enough on bus subsidies, before congratulating Wellington for taking a different and superior approach to Auckland in providing rail services. Ms Clark’s comments lead some local politicians to wonder if she has any competence with Auckland issues.

“The Prime Minister clearly doesn’t know what she is talking about. She held Auckland councillors to task for focussing on the wrong goals before holding Wellington up as an organisational role model. The trouble is the Wellington scheme was abandoned two months ago as an unmitigated flop.

“And in response to a parliamentary question today the Minister Assisting the Prime Minster on Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard, repeated the Prime Minster’s fallacies and added that she definitely agreed with them.

“One can only wonder what she’s been doing. Ms Tizard is supposed to brief the Prime Minister on important issues regarding Auckland. Yet if she doesn’t believe the estimated $1 billion a year traffic congestion costs to Auckland are serious one can only wonder what is?

“To talk-up the abandoned Wellington rail strategy, and then use it as an excuse to accuse Auckland of not focusing enough on buses, when clearly they have, shows how out of touch the Prime Minister and her Minister are with New Zealand’s largest city

“As an Auckland resident and member of parliament I have entered a private members bill into the ballot that will make it the Auckland Regional Council’s responsibility to finish the Auckland’s principal roading network by the end of 2005. Auckland’s strategic network was identified in reports as far back as 1964. This map forms part of the current plan and is repeated in my Bill.

“The ACT party understands the Auckland transport problem and is actively seeking to solve it.

“For the Prime Minister to bag Auckland leaders in the media rather than talking directly with those concerned is bizarre. The Auckland transport issue will not go away,” said Penny Webster.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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