Video: CBD Loop Campaign


Left and right politicians joined forces in a rare united voice this afternoon to help the Greens launch its campaign to hurry up the rail CBD loop.

Joining Green MPs Keith Locke and transport spokesman Gareth Hughes were Manukau mayor and supermayor candidate Len Brown, Labour’s Mt Albert MP David Shearer, former Auckland mayor Christine Fletcher, Auckland City Council transport chairman Ken Baguley, Heart of the City’s CEO Alex Swney and representatives of the ARC and councillor Graeme Easte representing the CBT group.

Greens’ Gareth Hughes, launching the campaign and petition to fast track the loop,  says he realises the loop will take some time to design and build, and that is all the more reason to ensure that there are no delays.

“Our Fast-Track the CBD Rail Loop campaign aims to raise public awareness to get a greater sense of urgency towards this project from central and local government and the needed investment.”

Manukau mayor and supercouncil mayoral candidate Len Brown said the CBD loop need to be part of the plan for an airport rail loop and the extension of rail on the North Shore.

He fully supported the Greens-initiated CBD loop campaign:

Former Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher, standing for the new council as a C&R candidate in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward, paid tribute to the work of Auckland City Council transport committee chairman Ken Baguley, who was present.

She said her getting the Britomart station across the line, against opposition from John Banks and others, had been a struggle but she said Banks had now come around to rail:

Alex Swney, Heart of the City, the business group promoting the CBD district, who stood for the Auckland City mayoralty in 2007 and polled third with 10,677 votes, is standing as an independent for the supercouncil for the Waitemata & Gulf ward against City Vision-endorsed Mike Lee.

Among those who said they had hoped to be there but sent their apologies were Auckland mayor John Banks, ARC Chair Mike Lee and ARC transport committee chair Christine Rose.

More and photos

Greens petition




  1. dave brown says:

    What is wrong with light rail which will give people a beautiful view of Auckland? Who wants to go by tunnel to get from downtown to K Road or Mt Eden. Dumb!

  2. CB says:

    Great post Jon, good for those of us who could not be there to hear some of the speeches. The encouraging thing about this is that everyone in local government on both the left and the right is getting behind this project. That should help to put pressure on central government. Great to see, even Banks is advocating for it.

  3. rtc says:

    Banks isn’t advocating for it, he merely says he would support it as long as someone else does all the leg work and funds it, that’s a big difference.

  4. rtc says:

    @Dave The CBD tunnel isn’t just about trips between downtown and K’Rd it’s about making the CBD more easily accessible via heavy rail to more of suburban Auckland as well as increasing the capacity of Britomart. Without the tunnel it will be impossible to increase the frequency of trains in Auckland past what they will be later this year.

  5. Sam says:

    @Dave brown: there are 6 things wrong with light rail instead of a CBD loop that I can think of:

    1)Britomart is very close to capacity- even if the loop was funded in full and fast tracked today, it would almost certainly hit capacity before the loop is complete. It cannot continue to exist as a terminus if we want transport in Auckland to ever work properly.

    2) connectivity with an existing region wide network: in a perfect Auckland, many people in the far suburbs would catch a bus to the train, and train into the city. If we have light rail instead, they would have to transfer again… travelling further, waiting again and probably travelling more indirectly. this is not really desireable.

    3) Speed: electric trains can go pretty fast, and don’t need to stop for anything except stations. Imagine a tram travelling down Queen Street at 100kph…

    4)route directness: the preferred loop alignment is pretty direct, as it goes right under intersections, buildings and spaghetti junction. Light rail would twist and turn and have to ultimately follow existing roads.

    5)space. something we are running out of in Auckland, especially while Steven Joyce continues to dream of a future Auckland where millions of people converge on the city every morning, each with an entire tonne of metal that they need to take and put somewhere for 8 hours. When we start taking from the cars to build this, it becomes more of a leap of faith for many people, and Steven may get upset that it opposes his grand plan

    6) capacity: not sure how well a tram would cope with 600 people on it… like a really long moving wall that gets in everyone else’s way

    I’m not saying I dissagree with light rail; I think it would be great for Queen street (continuing onto Dominion Road), Central West Auckland and the waterfront, but I don’t believe its anywhere near as crucial for our city right now.

  6. karl says:

    Graeme Easte is a member of CBT? Interesting, didn’t know.

  7. Anthony says:

    Hey thanks Sam

    1)Britomart is very close to capacity- even if the loop was funded in full and fast tracked today, it would almost certainly hit capacity before the loop is complete. It cannot

  8. Matt L says:

    Jon - I agree, its great to see left and right wing politicians supporting this at a local level, now all we need is the government to do the same.


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