Lee: We Need More Rail Investment


ARC Chair Mike Lee says that if New Zealand is to increase its economic productivity, our major cities must be well served by rapid rail.

“New Zealand needs to follow the example of our major trading partners - Australia, China and Japan - and increase investment in rail.”

Welcoming the government’s investment in KiwiRail, he also again raised questions about Auckland’s situation.

Mr Lee says clarity is still required on how the planned $250 million will impact on commuter rail services in Auckland, as discussions on equitable cost-sharing continue with the Ministry of Transport.

“Aucklanders are paying $5 million to the Government each year to have access to the rail network,” says Mr Lee.

“There is still a long way to go to ensure robust and reliable access costs are defined and for these costs to be shared equitably between passenger and freight services. “We would also like the Government to confirm that it will pay for the electric trains promised to Auckland when the regional fuel tax was removed last year.

“The Auckland region has made a significant contribution, some $363 million, towards improving rail services over the past five years, including building Britomart, double tracking the western line, upgrading rail stations and refurbishing trains.

“We need to clarify the long-term funding arrangements for rail here in Auckland. These arrangements must be equitable with Wellington and affordable for Auckland.

“We will continue working with the Government to reach an outcome.”

But he said the KiwiRail announcement was good news.

“The Transport Minister’s announcement today is heartening news for rail services across the country, and particularly for Auckland,” says Mr Lee. “Rail is an efficient way to move freight over longer distances and should be encouraged if New Zealand’s economy is to grow. The more freight off our roads and on rail, the better.”




  1. ingolfson says:

    Mike Lee for head of Auckland Transport (as one of the three councillors who will be sitting on the board). Though Christine Rose would also deserve it (well, both can be on the board, assuming they both get in).

  2. John Dalley says:

    Mike Lee for minister of Transport.
    t\To replace Steven Joyce, Minister of Roads.

  3. jarbury says:

    Ingolfson, Mike Lee’s chances of getting on the council seem reasonably high - as he’s likely to stand in the central Auckland ward. Christine Rose is likely to have an interesting battle against Penny Webster for the Rodney seat.

  4. Jeremy Harris says:

    Dear Lord, I hope Rose wins, in fact now you mentioned this I have to quit my job and join her campaign… Damn you…

  5. jarbury says:

    LOL Jeremy, so it’s my fault huh?

  6. ingolfson says:

    Scary thing is that Penny Webster will have the anger against the Super City behind her, seeing that she is beating the drum for a secession. Christine can’t do that, as she has reluctantly favoured the super city.

    Can’t really gauge Rodney’s mood between the two at all.

    Well, if she loses a close fight, but Mike Lee and Len Brown win, she can still be given an important post at Auckland Transport (Board or policy position, maybe, would love to keep her around, she’s great, great value).


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