Labour blocks briefing on Auckland Light Rail

The ‘transparent’ Labour Government has once again blocked a request for a briefing on its light rail business case, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Today, Labour MPs blocked my request for the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit to brief the Transport and Infrastructure Committee on its Light Rail Interim Business Case.

“The Government’s proposed $14.6 billion light rail project will be the largest ever infrastructure project in the country, however Labour is refusing to allow Parliament to scrutinise it.

“With the cost of this project likely to exceed $8,000 per household, Parliament has a responsibility to ask the hard questions about the costings, whether the project is a good value for money, and if the Government will be able to deliver it within the proposed timeframes.

“So far Parliament has only had the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit present to the committee for 15 minutes at the end of last year for an Annual Review hearing, prior to the Indicative Business Case being released in January.  

“This equates to one minute of scrutiny for every $1 billion of spending the Government is proposing for this project.

“Today’s decision follows Labour MPs also blocking my request last week for a briefing from NZTA regarding the delays to the opening of Transmission Gully.

“This is unacceptable from a government which promised to be the most open and transparent government ever.”