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The creation of a hardship fund for Auckland businesses adversely affected by delays to the City Rail Link is a positive step in what has been a very difficult situation, Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says.

“After more than six months of advocacy by multiple people and organisations I’m really pleased the Government has agreed, in principle, to make ex-gratia payments for Albert Street businesses.

“Many of these businesses have endured extraordinary disruption, stress and heartbreak. I look forward to seeing detail of the fund and eligibility criteria when it is made public.

“This has never been a dispute about minor roadworks. It has been about significant delays, and for some people a catastrophic impact on their lives.

“I have held several meetings with businesses, councillors, agencies and Heart of the City regarding these issues. We have written numerous letters and held multiple protests to arrive at this point.

“I want to acknowledge Viv Beck and Sunny Kaushal for their hard work, commitment and dedication to resolving these issues. I have worked alongside them, promising businesses from the outset that we would never give up on them.

“I also want to acknowledge the Mayor and councillors for their advocacy on this issue.

“It is really important that local and central government learn lessons from this project. In the long-term it is good that work is being done to develop wider policy to ensure we can minimise disruption where possible to businesses for major infrastructure projects.”

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