Labour Hijacks Joyce Opening


Labour party loyalists tried to hijack the transport minister’s opening of New Lynn’s new transport hub today.

The $300m hub incorporating the train station and bus depot was opened by the minister,  Steven Joyce, the Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.

Labour’s New Lynn MP David Cunliffe told the gathering at the New Lynn station that it should be remembered that the project began under the last Labour Government and had the support of then finance minister Michael Cullen who had agreed to government funding after seeing for himself the traffic chaos of having rail lines across the road in the middle of the township.

Mr Cunliffe then asked two men in the audience to unravel a large banner thanking Mr Cullen, who was not present.

They held that up during the proceeding only a short distance from where the minister was seating.

They also held up the banner outside when a ceremonial start was made to dismantling the old bus depot and adjourning shops.

Later Mr Joyce said that as soon as National had won the election, both the Waitakere mayor and Mr Cunliffe had been on the phone asking for funding to continue for the project.

ALL SMILES: Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey's big day

Mr Joyce said although it was a recession and money was hard to find -”as it still is” - he encouraged his government to continue to finish it off.

A ceremonial Asian lion dance was held as part of the official ceremony

Minister Steven Joyce at opening of New Lynn transport hub

Mr Joyce said he was very supportive of the New Lynn-type hub which would see urban growth in the area as well as catering for several public transport modes.

Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand with New Lynn MP David Cunliffe

Both Auckland mayor John Banks and Manukau mayor and supermayor candidate Len Brown attended today’s event although neither were asked to speak.

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and Waitakere City Council developed the $36m interchange as part of a wider $300m project to transform the town centre and improve its transport and roading infrastructure. KiwiRail has also recently completed double tracking the Western Line, enabling a more frequent service through the new New Lynn station.

ARTA Chairman Rabin Rabindran told the gathering: “New Lynn’s state-of-the-art station is the jewel in the crown on the Western Line, which has been considerably upgraded recently.

“The rail station forms part of a fully integrated transport hub, where concerted effort has been made to integrate bus and train connections to enable passengers to change between public transport modes in a smooth and convenient way.”

Governor- General talks up PT

Video- Old bus depot demolished

How new transport hub looks

What next for New Lynn?

New Lynn construction in photos - series starts here




  1. Matt L says:

    I’m sure we will see lots on news in the Herald about the opening how how nice this station looks ….. Yeah right

  2. Nick R says:

    I’ve always wanted to quietly replace the plaque in Britomart with Banksy’s name on it with one honouring Christine Fletcher.
    She did all the hard yard to get it built and open, all Banks did was moan and berate it and try to cancel the thing in favour of his pet highway.

  3. Brent C says:

    Michael Cullen had to be convinced to that funding for the rail project at New Lynn was needed! He is just as much a memeber of the national party when it came to road funding. Especially after the 2006 budget when he left rail out and made a record investment into roads. You could say Mr Cullen spent much time in bed with the RTF in a very cosy relationship.

    I hope future Labour party MPs will have a different attitude towards Passenger Transport. Some Labour MPs have shown some promising signs!

  4. Patrick R says:

    Yes Brent is right, but for Cullen’s small town thinking [A Dunedin MP remember] electrification would be well underway and the CBD funded and committed to. I always thought it sad the Clarke government’s antipathy to anything the Greens supported. At least now we have one of the main parties seeing the electoral value in doing what AK really needs. Unfortunately the corollary to that is that it is likely to make the other lot dig in even more and oppose it on party political grounds.

    There’s a danger in that for them because it isn’t true that only the poor and the red that want PT, that’s a lazy and dated fantasy held by people who won’t move on from the tired left/right view of the world. It’s more an opposition between forward looking people who want a sophisticated city against the backward lookers who can only imagine more of the same. IMHO

  5. nzbcfanboi says:

    Good on them I say

  6. Nick R says:

    Let’s not forget that Cullen funded New Lynn in order to stop delaying cars at the level crossing. It wasn’t about improving the rail system.

  7. John Dalley says:

    It would not hurt for those thinking about voting for John Banks, that if it was not for an iron clad contract Britomart would still not be build.

  8. rtc says:

    and if it wasn’t for the fract that New Lynn was a giant hole in the ground when Joyce came into office it also would still not be built.

  9. rtc says:

    Hijack I think is a tad harsh, I honestly find the practice of putting someone’s name on a plaque simply because they turned up on the day a little ridiculous. Why does Joyce deserve to be on this plaque anymore than Banks deserves to be on Britomart?

  10. Simon says:

    I totally agree RTC. It makes me sick to see Bank`s name on the Britomart plaque. And Nick, honestly I don`t care why Cullen did it, the point is he did give it funding and the thing got built.

  11. LucyJH says:

    Yeah, I didn’t think it was a hijack - I thought it was fairly appropriate actually. It was just one banner - not like they had masses of people holding up placards or wearing tshirts or anything…

    Also: “I always thought it sad the Clarke government’s antipathy to anything the Greens supported.”

    I think the reasons why Labour didn’t fund rail improvements were a lot more complicated than that. They were actually perfectly willing to fund some things (for example, home insulation or environmental education) that the Greens proposed. I think their position on transport funding had a lot to do with vigorous lobbying by the RTF.

    Perhaps they will change their position if they get back into government but then who knows…these things look so different when you’re on the inside rather than the outside :)

  12. Jon C says:

    @rtc @LucyJH You had to be there. The aim was to hijack. It was in a small waiting room at the station. If the Minister is sitting there ready to open the station and two people then put upright alongside him at the front of the room a large banner hailing Michael Cullen as the person who should be thanked, not the Minister and it’s done deliberately right in front of the TV and news cameras and repeated when the cameras are outside for the bus depot demolition, thats a hijack!! Lucy there would have not been any room for more than one big banner!


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>