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Leaked information that the cost of Auckland’s City Rail link, New Zealand’s largest transport project, has blown out by $500 million is deeply concerning and raises questions about the Government’s ability to manage its finances, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The cost of the project has already risen to $3.4 billion, but revised estimates have increased this figure by $500 million. If this is true, this is a big failure of oversight by the Government, as the project is jointly funded between the Government and Auckland Council.

“Transport Minister Phil Twyford is happy to go 18 metres below Albert Street for photo opportunities, but so far has done nothing about the ever increasing runaway costs.

“You can be sure that if the City Rail Link project is facing this type of blow out, a slow tram to the airport would show a similar pattern.

“Sydney is already facing issues with its slow train. The light rail was initially expected to cost $1.6 billion but the budget has blown out to at least $2.1 billion, with a contractor suggesting it could go even further.

“The Government needs to be taking better care of taxpayer money. Transport Minister Phil Twyford needs to come out and explain how much the blowout is going to be, and what he is doing to minimise any further costs.”

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