Who Pays For The New Trains?


Once again Mike Lee is on the ball.

A Cabinet paper obtained under the Official information Act raises more concern about how much Aucklanders are going to be forking out for commuter rail services.

This comes a few days after transport minister Steven Joyce said the Auckland region will need to “stand up and meet the costs of using the rail network for passenger operations.”

Mike Lee told AKT this morning that the issue now is who will be paying towards the cost of the city’s new electric trains as the Cabinet paper indicates Auckland having to pay some of the interest charges on the $500m Crown loan to KiwiRail to buy the trains, which will arrive in 2013.

The ARC Chair says he’s concerned that ratepayers will suddenly find money being collected by the new Auckland Transport body to help pay for the new trains.
This would happen without public knowledge or debate as the new body will be holding its meetings in secret.

He said this was not what the government had told him would happen after it axed the planned regional petrol tax which would have help fund the project.

In his speech earlier this week to the Australasian Rail Association’s second annual conference in Wellington, the minister spoke of the money being put into upgrade Auckland and Wellington Metro services.

The minister complained that the regions weren’t contributing enough.

” The metro operations will have to meet the actual fair costs for the renewal and maintenance of the networks that they use going forward.
“And discussions on that responsibility will start shortly.”

This prompted ARC Chair Mike Lee to “remind the minister that over the five years to 2006, some $363 million was invested in upgrading the Auckland rail network.
“Of this, approximately $288 million or 80% was provided by the Auckland region and its ratepayers. This funding provided for the construction of Britomart, upgrading of stations, double-tracking, and the purchase and refurbishment of trains.




  1. rtc says:

    Load Kiwirail with debt and watch it rot away, yet another page from the Republican’s book on how to run PT into the ground. Well going Joyce, you really know how to turn a country into one of the least appealing places to live for young people who have experinced what a REAL city, and PT is like overseas.

  2. GAZZA says:

    They’re Searching for a way to charge us twice for the project! old style cost plus thinking instead of expanding the market reach.

  3. Jeremy Harris says:

    I have been worried ever since I heard the $500m was a loan not a Treasury allocation…

  4. ingolfson says:

    Indeed - “snuck past the cabinet” my ass.

  5. Kurt says:

    Clearly when National scrapped the regional petrol tax they didn’t have a clue where the money was going to come from to fund the electrification. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that they were against any more taxes or public transport.

    But yet over the short life of this goverment they have raised petrol excise tax twice, raised ACC levies massively, hit SOE’s up for bigger dividends (more tax) and are now about to hike GST and other lower PAYE tax rates.

    Maybe they simply hated the thought of Auckland having some control over its future.

    Public transport will suffer if these turkeys are allowed to dominate the Auckland Council too!

  6. ingolfson says:

    Well, Kurt, somebody has to pay for the new motorways, and the $750k that the new Auckland Council CEO earns!


    Hint: It is not the upper-bracket tax people. And the more you earn, the less % of your money is spent on petrol tax, so again, all sweet!


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