Plans for Auckland Light Rail — after 6 years and many, many millions of dollars of consultants’ fees, how much has been built? Zilch.

by Cam Slater on the BFD

The new Transport Minister has delivered a fantasy promise of a new harbour crossing using tunnels. The price tag is eye watering, but they’ve announced it like we are expected to take them seriously.

The Government’s pick for an alternative Waitemata Harbour crossing will include two three-lane tunnels for vehicles and a 21km light rail tunnel between Albany and the CBD – a plan that will take decades to finish and cost tens of billions of dollars.Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Transport Minister David Parker released the chosen option in Auckland today after Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted on five options for another crossing which were a mix of bridges and tunnels.Hipkins said he was “ambitious for Auckland” even after a lot of negativity he’d witnessed with respect to another harbour crossing.He referenced the weather events that often limited use of the current Harbour Bridge, and how it would require maintenance which would mean further closures.“There is no question that additional connectivity across the harbour is required,” he said.He didn’t rule out using a toll to pay for some of the project, saying the current Harbour Bridge was formerly tolled.“All options in how we fund this are still on the table,” Hipkins said when asked whether public-private partnerships or further borrowing could be used to fund the project.–NZ Herald

And the cost?

The indicative costings for the full plan total $35 billion to $44.5b, but the tunnels would be built in stages to spread it out. The Government had asked Waka Kotahi to look at funding options and said it was open to considering different options.The roughly $35–45b price tag would be paid for over many years in keeping with other significant roading projects, Hipkins said.More detailed work on how it can be delivered will be done between now and Christmas. Cabinet would consider it early next year.“It’s time to stop that talk that’s ground progress to a halt.”–NZ Herald

Before we even begin to look into these fantasies of David Parker and Chris Hipkins, let’s analyse Labour’s previous promises and their delivery.

Where are the 100,000 Kiwibuild homes?

Where is the previous harbour crossing proposal that they all waxed lyrical about?

Where is the light rail to Mt Roskill?

Where is the light rail to the airport?

How are we doing at eliminating child poverty?

The first and last question out of anyone’s mouth should be: ‘If you couldn’t deliver all your previous promises, why should we believe that this time you’ll actually deliver this?’

We needn’t even contemplate looking into this proposal in any detail because, come October, they’ll be looking for new jobs.