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Significant issues with the City Rail Link (CRL) hardship fund is causing stress and anxiety for local businesses, Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says.

“While it was promising that after six months of advocacy an announcement was made last year, it appears the City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) has taken an unduly harsh approach to eligibility to the hardship fund.

“Businesses have approached Heart of the City and myself to hold a meeting to try and resolve these issues. There appears to have been no consultation with businesses prior to developing the criteria for the fund.

“It has focused on paying the difference between actual rent and average market rent for businesses. It is failed to adequately take into account the level of disruption for businesses. It has also taken a flawed approach around what it consider is the time delay to the project.

“I have held numerous meetings with businesses, councillors, other agencies and heart of the city regarding these issues. We have written numerous letters and held multiple protests to get the fund established so it’s upsetting at this point some businesses have been given false hope because CRLL has not provided fair eligibility.

“While I understand the challenges with getting a fair resolution to this, the CRLL has been unduly harsh and need to answer some hard questions about the criteria it has developed. The businesses are arranging a meeting with CRLL, myself, Heart of the City and ideally the mayor. It’s important Transport and Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford also fronts up at this meeting.”

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