New Zealand Labour Party

Bridges and Smith a brake on Auckland's progress

The dismal performance this week by Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Housing Minister Nick Smith has reinforced that the National Government is a brake on Auckland's progress, says Labour Transport and Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
"Simon Bridges has poured cold water on Auckland's transport plan which had been debated and consulted extensively. He won't commit central government funding to the plan, but rules out funding tools like a regional fuel tax or tolls which would allow Auckland to get moving.

"Meanwhile Nick Smith threatens to ignore Auckland Council's concerns about ballooning costs of new housing developments and override the Council's consenting powers to rubber stamp new subdivisions not properly serviced by infrastructure.
"Aucklanders want both the gridlock and the housing crisis fixed. Neither problem can be solved without central Government doing its bit and paying its fair share. But the Government seems hell bent on either blaming Auckland Council for the problems, or constantly fighting over the solutions.
"Both issues are holding back Auckland's growth and prosperity, and the housing crisis is hurting the whole economy by keeping interest rates high.

"National created the super city so Auckland could speak with one voice. It is time ministers like Simon Bridges and Nick Smith showed some leadership, and learned to work constructively with Auckland."