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Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says the Government’s decision to work with Auckland Council to bring forward the start date of the City Rail Link (CRL) is great news for Auckland.

“I’d like to acknowledge the Prime Minister and Ministers Joyce and Bridges for the decision announced today by the Prime Minister, which means construction could start in 2018, at least two years sooner than currently envisaged,” says Ms Kaye.

“This is great news for commuters, and it also provides a huge boost for potential new jobs and growth in Auckland.

“The CRL is a vital artery in Auckland’s rail network. The new, 3.4km underground link will double the capacity of the network, and significantly reduce commuter times.

“The construction project itself will create lots of jobs in the city, and it will also unlock other growth and development, by giving certainty to building work planned in Auckland. There’s billions of dollars of proposed investment in new buildings in Auckland’s CBD over the next few years.

“While this project is about better rail connections, with Auckland growing by a predicted 700,000 people over the next 30 years, we need to ensure that our public transport system, whether it be rail, buses, ferries, walkways or cycleways, are able to accommodate that growth.

“I have supported the CRL since 2009, and as the local MP over several years I have worked alongside constituents, the Council, other agencies and the Government to commit to the project, and undertake both designation and other preparatory work.

“Auckland Central is home to much infrastructure of national significance. Under our Government, we have delivered the $340 million Victoria Park Tunnel project, committed to an investment package of $88 million in cycling in Auckland, and completed the $1.7 billion electrification of rail. The CRL is estimated to cost around $2.5 billion and I look forward to working with other Ministers as local MP on issues such as funding and ownership.

“The scale and complexity of the construction project will require a level of organisation like never before. It’s important for all agencies and stakeholders to understand the sequencing of work and potential disruption to the CBD, and as the local MP I will be doing all I can to ensure the project is a success.

“Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister is important because it’s about creating jobs and giving certainty to Auckland business. This is great news for the future of Auckland.”

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