Brown’s rail loop to cost $2B
Sat, 30 Oct 2010 6:18p.m.
By Charlotte Tonkin
It’s not just trains Auckland is waiting for, it’s also the money to pay for an extended rail network.
Mayor elect Len Brown’s plan for a central city rail loop is expected to cost around $2 billion.
Speaking on TV3’s The Nation this morning, Transport Minister Stephen Joyce says the Government can’t afford it.
“When you’ve got a Government that is faced with debts rising very quickly, it’s keeping the economy going. With the injection of money we’re putting into the economy to then say on top of that we’ll have several billion more dollars for this, you’d have to have a pretty strong justification,” he said.
So far, Mr Joyce isn’t convinced.
“I think in principal, central Government knows it has to make a contribution to these sorts of projects,” he said.
“In practice there is going to be a lot of competition.”
So Auckland rate payers will have to help pay for the project, which Mr Brown is determined to see completed within seven years.
“I don’t want to keep postponing this type of inter-generational upgrading and stepping up of Auckland as an international class city to another generation – this is our time.”
In Wellington, newly elected Mayor Celia Wade-Brown thinks it is time for the capital to embrace a light rail system, and for the Government to fund most of it.
But Mr Joyce says it is not a priority, before it’s even known whether the project is feasible.
“They’re meant to be economically rational,” says Ms Wade-Brown.
“So I’m hoping that if we can show it is an efficient way of moving around that, with improved investment and economic outcomes as well as environmental outcomes, I would at least expect a rational Minister of Transport to listen very carefully.”
Both Mr Brown and Ms Wade-Brown have made green promises about extending rail networks, but it’s increasingly irrational they will be able to rely on the Government to keep them.
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31/10/2010 11:05:58 p.m.
We need to get this started now and the government needs to get over their fetish for roads.
Peter - Typical small minded view that holds this country back. Of course central government should pay for some of this. By building the tunnel it will open much more of the CBD up to intensive development and enable more people to access the area. This means more businesses which create more jobs and more taxes to help prop up the rest of the country. If it wasn't for Aucklands taxes then much of the infrastructure in rural NZ wouldn't have been able to be afforded.
31/10/2010 7:53:58 p.m.
I didn't vote for Brown...But for the sake of our kids i have to support this Rail system Get on with it Len.
31/10/2010 5:27:18 p.m.
Central government doesn't need to spend *more* on Auckland for this, they should simply transfer some of the funds allocated for building motorways into building this. And if Aucklanders really would prefer that (which you can infer from the mayoral elections), what's the government got to lose?
30/10/2010 11:47:33 p.m.
What a loser... TAX payer!.
30/10/2010 8:56:53 p.m.
stuart leenstra wrote:
Once again promises are easily made to win an election. But the reality is totally different.
My father taught me that a promise equals a debt. If you are not sure that you can fulfill that promise, don't make it as it will bite you in the back Too many times kiwi's make a promise and before they finish what they are promising, they have already forgotten what they said. Or they knew it was a false promise and kiwis and they are so used to it!
30/10/2010 8:10:39 p.m.
And I want an Aston Martin DBS.
30/10/2010 6:57:59 p.m.
Give me one good reason why someone outside of the main centres should contribute to the growth of a city infrastructure!! All the benefits of the rail system are in Auckland, so if Aucklanders feel they cannot justify it how can anyone else. Even if one accepts the false theory that because of its size Auckland's economy is vital to NZ, this surely implies that Auckland will be able to afford this themselves. There is only one reason central governments get involved in these things - one million votes
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