Documents obtained under the Official Information Act has revealed under the original design for the City Rail Link a plan was developed to reduce disruption which was never followed, MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye says.
“The ‘Social impact and business disruption delivery work plan’ was designed to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects arising from disruption to businesses has clearly been a box ticking exercise with little tangible benefit.
“It would be good to know how much was spent on developing the plan to prevent disruption which has seen more than a year of delay.
“Albert Street businesses are struggling financially and emotionally, and the Mayor and Transport Minister continue to try and ignore the issue despite the fact as shareholder representatives they sit on the City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) board.
“The documents show CRLL spent $72,000 on ‘supporting businesses’ including a cheap eats campaign and social media training. The businesses of Albert Street have made it clear they haven’t seen the benefit of this expenditure.
“CRLL have also blanket blocked access to information requested on briefings around costs. While some may need to be redacted, refusing all of it is excessive. This is taxpayer money that is being spent, and there is rightly huge public interest in understanding the cost blowouts of the City Rail Link.
“In particular there is little detail on the $150 million of ‘non-direct’ costs. CRLL claim it may impacts its ability to secure favourable terms from partners. At the very least we could have some indication of what this actually covers at a high level.
“The businesses on Albert St have had very poor treatment which has seen a number of them in very difficult situations. CRLL has treated them poorly with bad communication. I have advocated for some form of financial assistance via rates relief or some other support.
“The Minister and Mayor have previously tried to avoid important issues of fiscal responsibility and need to front up with more information including explaining why the CRLL did not follow the original plan to reduce disruption.”