The Government is misleading the public when it says City Rail Link Limited is negotiating with Albert Street businesses so they can receive support following ongoing disruptions from construction, Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says.

“Last week Transport Minister Phil Twyford said ‘City Rail Link at my direction are working hand and hand with businesses of lower Albert Street to provide material support for them’, but this is contrary to what the businesses of Albert Street are telling Heart of the City and I.

“When the Prime Minister was asked what this means this morning, she said ‘it means negotiations’ and that the CRL is negotiating with some of the business owners.

“However the 16 businesses we have been liaising with have confirmed none have been approached by CRLL or have been involved in negotiations. CRLL have further confirmed today they have had only one conversation with only one retailer.

“This is quite different to what the Prime Minister implied this morning.

“There is a large group of businesses who have been impacted by ongoing disruptions that no one is negotiating with or having discussions with as implied by the Prime Minister.

“If one business has talked with CRLL then it is important all businesses are offered the same opportunity to have discussions. There needs to be a fair and transparent process.

“The businesses on Albert Street have faced extreme hardship due to ongoing delays with the project and misinformation put out by the Government only distresses them more.

“A petition was launched last week to call for assistance for the businesses and it so far has more than 300 signatures. The businesses will also be protesting in a variety of ways this week.”

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