The long wait for light rail in Auckland continues.
Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced a new six-month consultation process to get the project moving, and says the Government will make decisions “at the end of the year”.
“I know some would have liked me to announce a shovel-ready project today, but I also want to be absolutely certain that the plan we move forward with is the right one,” Wood said on Wednesday.
The Government has tasked an ‘establishment unit’ with a six-month work programme, including working with Māori, engaging with Aucklanders, developing a business case, and providing cost estimates and financing options for light rail.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pledged during the 2017 election campaign that Labour would build light rail from downtown Auckland to the airport within a decade.
Labour had already promised to build light rail from Auckland CBD to Mt Roskill and Ardern said at the time it would be complete in four years, but more three years have passed and light rail is nowhere to be seen.
Everyone got excited about the announcement today and it was another Claytons announcement – where all they announced was yet another working group.
They promised in 2017 that by the end of 2021 they will have completely finished 13 kms of light rail to Mt Roskill. Now at best they will have made a decision in principle about what to do. Four years to simply decide a route!