Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones is right to criticise Auckland Mayor Phil Goff on his push for light rail while the City Rail Link costs continue to blowout, but he should be talking to his Government colleagues who are the real drivers of light rail, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Mr Jones has got the broader point right, a slow tram from Auckland city to the airport doesn’t stack up and the Government shouldn’t be pushing ahead with it while the cost of City Rail Link continues to accelerate.

“But he should be talking to his Government colleagues instead. The decisions to put a slow tram down Dominion Road was made in the Labour-Green coalition negotiations, in the absence of any real data.

“Mr Jones is a Minister under pressure and he is lashing out.

“The Minister publically criticising the Mayor doesn’t help the situation. The ever increasing runaway costs with the City Rail Link raises questions about the Government’s ability to manage its finances.

“Light rail is likely to go through the same issues. Sydney is facing its own budget blow out with its tram. It’s extremely concerning Transport Minister Phil Twyford is still charging ahead with the project while the City Rail Link has another cost blowout.

“If Mr Jones is happy to publically criticise the Mayor, then he also needs to start criticising his Government colleagues, because at the moment Mr Twyford and Associate Transport Minister Julie-Anne Genter are letting ideology drive their desire for light rail, not the needs of commuters.”

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