No more light rail advisers, still no light rail

After five years of failure, Transport Minister Michael Wood is continuing to pour millions into consultants for Auckland’s light rail system with no end in sight, National Transport spokesman Simeon Brown has said.

“Labour promised in 2017 that they would build a tram from Auckland CBD to Mt Roskill by 2021, but half a decade later there is not even a final business case yet. we’ve seen is millions of taxpayer dollars spent on consultants.

“NZTA has just announced the preferred bidders for the light rail project to work on the final alignment and develop the final business case.

“Minister Wood has already spent over two-thirds of total light rail spending on consultants, over $40 million, and wants to squander millions more on more consultants.

“Business Desk revealed earlier this year that a final investment decision will not be made until 2024. It is worrying to imagine the millions of additional dollars that will be wasted by then.

“Treasury estimates it could cost up to $29.2 billion, and a final business case is still years away.

“The minister has failed to deliver on one of Labour’s key election promises in 2017 and is showing a reckless disregard for taxpayers’ money.

“A national government will restore discipline in public spending and judging by this ongoing debacle, it can’t happen soon enough.”

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Jose P. Rogers