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Ministers at odds over cost of Auckland’s light rail

26 June 2019

The Government’s ineptitude when it comes to transport has been on full display this week with its Ministers unable to agree on whether Auckland’s light rail will cost $4 billion or $7 billion, National’s transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones told a recent Parliamentary Select Committee that he’d seen estimates for the proposed City Centre to Māngere line that costed it at $7.6 billion.

“But today Transport Minister Phil Twyford said he disagreed, and thought it was more like $4 billion, although he couldn’t really say how much until the business case was done.

“So who is right and who is wrong? It’s become a $3.6 billion dollar question, and one the Government should have answered long before now.

“Phil Twyford said the business case for this project would be ready by November 2018. The fact it has been delayed this long shows his officials are struggling to make the project work on a value-for-money level.

“The Transport Minister’s pledge that he would have light rail completed to Mt Roskill within four years is looking like yet another broken promise, as almost two years on he hasn’t completed the most basic first step.

“Failing to deliver has been a theme across both of Phil Twyford’s Ministerial portfolios. This is more evidence the Prime Minister needs to either strip him of responsibilities or move him out of Cabinet altogether as part of her reshuffle.”


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