New Mayor Firm About Rail Plans


Auckland’s new mayor told his historic inauguration ceremony in the Auckland Town Hall tonight that he and the council will “fix Auckland’s transport system” and he remains staunch on his plan for his 3 pet rail projects.
Len Brown, in his inugural speech as the city’s first supermayor declared as he did time and time again during the election campaign: “We will build an inner city loop. We will have rail connecting the city to the airport. And we will bring rail to the North Shore.
But, speaking after a weekend in which transport minister Steven Joyce was warm on only the CBD loop, Mr Brown added: “It will not be easy. These are expensive projects. But we have had reports, discussions, and debates for long enough.
There will be a cost. But we will do it. We are not going to postpone, again, this crucial work for a future generation to deal with.
The council officially has come into existence -along with the CCOs like Auckland Transport which started work today.
The council’s first official meeting began tonight - with a ceremony attended also by the prime minister and local government minister Rodney Hide who had pushed through the new local governance.
The new Mayor reminded his audience that during the election he had said he was determined to get Auckland moving and an overwhelming majority of the voters of Tamaki Makaurau said ‘Yes. Do that.’
“I will do that. ” he said.
“In the 1970s, Sir Dove-Myer Robinson also had a vision, and a plan to get Auckland moving. As you drive through Auckland’s congested streets, or crawl along its motorways on your way to work each morning, imagine how different Auckland would be now if Sir Dove Meyer’s plans had not been derailed.
“Imagine the economic and social potential that that rapid rail project would have unlocked over the past 30 years.
Imagine the prosperity that Auckland would have created for all of New Zealand. We have imagined too long and waited too long.”

Mayor Brown linked the rail projects to Auckland’s economic development as a supercity.
Among the examples he gave of the advantages:

  • “It’s about ensuring that students from Manurewa can choose to study on the North Shore, without having to leave home at 6am to make it to their first class.
  • “It’s about ensuring businesses can move their freight around and through our city quickly and efficiently, rather than having to factor time spent stuck on motorways and congested local roads into their costings.
  • “And it’s also about ensuring that investors - local and foreign - see Auckland as a great place to establish a business, creating jobs and prosperity not just for Auckland, but for all of New Zealand.”

Rodney Hide said the Government’s aim has been to reform Auckland’s governance so the Mayor and council can implement their vision and strategy for Auckland, and have the tools to deliver on that vision and strategy.
“This is about creating a brighter future for Auckland. It is now over to Len Brown and his team to take control and build that brighter future for a unified Auckland City.”

And for NZ to catch up and pass Australia economically (a hobbyhorse of the Government), Mr Brown said our infrastructure has to match Australian cities like Brisbane.

Media covering tonight’s big event

Mayor Brown and the 20 councillors were sworn into office, making their statutory declarations to act in the best interests of Auckland.
The New Zealand Graduate Choir sang, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Town Hall organist played a fanfare that has been specially written by New Zealand composer John Psathas.
The more business elements of the inaugural meeting will continue in the morning in the Council Chambers at 9.30am to lunch time and again on Wednesday at the same time. The meeting may also stretch over to Thursday if the additional time is required.
One of the first items on the agenda is a leftover from the last council -whether to approve the St Lukes area plan, which sees the extension of the St Lukes shopping centre.




  1. Matt says:

    Imagine how different the speech would’ve sounded had Banks got in. No challenges to the Minister of Roads to step up and do something material to help grow the national economy instead of National’s continued tinkering around the edges. No inclusive examples of South and North (well, maybe North), etc. No vision, no spine, just Joyce’s hand firmly up the proverbial, making Banks’ lips move to National’s tune.

    Now all we need is for Joyce and B’linglish to be replaced by ministers who come from urban Auckland electorates and whose constituents make use of rail on a daily basis.

  2. anthony says:

    this is just fantastic!!!

  3. Cam says:

    Got to hand it to Len, he’s going for it. This is what Auckland has asked for. Great stuff keep pushing them!!


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