The chances of this Government making any progress on Auckland’s light rail look slim after the Deputy Prime Minister failed to commit to delivering the project, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Light rail was Labour’s flagship election promise but it hit the skids as soon as they got into Government and now it looks like it’ll be derailed completely because the Coalition can’t get on the same page.
“In Parliament this week, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was asked, point-blank, whether the Government would deliver on its light rail commitment. His response, on behalf of the prime minister, was to simply say it is was a ‘work in progress’.
“After almost an entire term of Government it should be more than a work in progress. It’s staggering that there’s still no route, no delivery model, no design work done, no costings, no consents, no designations, no business case – nothing.
“You don’t have to be expert at reading between the lines to know light rail will be shelved if Cabinet ever sits down to make a decision on it, especially with Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones publicly talking it down.
“The Government was supposed to have at least selected a delivery partner for the project by now, but it confirmed that decision is still ‘months’ away.
“The Deputy Prime Minister wouldn’t be drawn on a timeline for delivery when asked, probably because he knows this latest Phil Twyford shambles isn’t going to fly.
“Light Rail has become KiwiBuild 2.0.”