21 Oct 2019

Auckland light rail plans hampered by delays

From Checkpoint, 5:50 pm on 21 October 2019

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says he'll be keeping a close eye on the price tag for light rail in Auckland, after being alerted to potential cost blow-outs by an industry source.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford is defending delays to the project, which would eventually see light rail to the airport, saying a second bid from the Superannuation Fund and its Canadian partner is worth examining thoroughly.

But it denies that is going to lead to a cost blow out for the multi-billion-dollar project.

And Opposition leader Simon Bridges has lashed out at the Superannuation Fund, accusing it of "cynical" conduct by going unsolicited to the government with its alternative proposal.

The Super Fund says: "NZ Infra is in a competitive process with regard to our proposal to develop light rail in Auckland. We are focused on putting forward a quality proposal that meets the Government's objectives for delivering rapid transport in Auckland. As such we're not in a position to comment on this".

RNZ political editor, Jane Patterson, has the story.