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Light rail for Auckland

When you talk to the people in Mt Roskill, they have the same concerns as anywhere – they want a fair shot at the Kiwi dream but

  • housing is unaffordable
  • there aren’t enough police to keep a lid on crime,
  • the health system is over-stretched,
  • the schools are underfunded,
  • wages are too low and kids are stuck in poverty
  • and, in Mt Roskill, they especially talk about the clogged roads.

Labour has listened. Labour has the answers

  • We’re going to restore the Kiwi Dream of homeownership by building 100,000 affordable homes and shutting the speculators out of the market.
  • We’re going to recruit 1,000 extra police to make our communities safe
  • We’re going to reverse National’s cuts to health
  • We’re going to fund our schools properly
  • We’re going to back Kiwi businesses and lift wages so our families have a fair share and a decent standard of living
  • And, for Mt Roskill and the surrounding suburbs, we’re going to invest in the start of a modern transport network that will get Auckland moving.

Today, I announced with Michael Wood that Labour will build a new light rail line from Mt Roskill up Dominion Rd, to the CBD, all the way to Wynyard Quarter. It’s part of our vision for a modern transport system that will get Auckland moving.

Auckland needs this line. Auckland Council says demand is already so high that it’s needed now. The Council has identified it as a priority for the next ten years.

National has refused to commit any money and only pencilled it in for some time after 2028. Not good enough. Too late.

Congestion in Auckland has worsened by a quarter since 2013. Public transport patronage is up a quarter since then, too. National dragged its heels on the City Rail Link for eight years. Now, it’s doing the same with light rail.

Meanwhile, Aucklanders are stuck in a city that doesn’t have the transport infrastructure to handle its growing population. The cost – in people’s time, in pollution, in health, in lost productivity – is enormous.

This is an exciting project. 29,000 people’s homes and 48,000 jobs are located within 500m of the planned stops. This will become a growth area for a modern, compact city thanks to light rail.

Michael Wood has advocated for this investment for years, and it’s one that Phil Goff has said will be a priority of his mayoralty.

Labour will work with the Council to get light rail from Mt Roskill to the CBD built as quickly as possible. The money is there – unallocated in outyears in the National Land Transport Plan. The business case stacks up.

Like all the other issues facing the country, solving it takes a government that’s willing to get off its butt and get the job done. A government that’s willing to roll up its sleeves and implement the answers that are already in front of us.

That’s the vision Michael Wood will deliver for Mt Roskill, and the vision Labour will deliver for New Zealand.

Image: (c) Auckland Transport.