Workers want to “crack” Auckland’s light rail line by constructing it after it was blocked by the New Zealand First party during the first semester.
Phil Twiford, the party’s transport spokesperson and current Minister of Transport, said the last bureaucratic hurdle before construction would be cleared “in a short period of time.”
Twyford also suggested that workers’ preference is for a NZ Superfund-led joint venture to build and operate a line between Britomart and Auckland airports.
It seems likely that an official announcement will be made shortly after the new government is established, as key staff have already left the rival bidder NZ Transport Agency.
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It brings even more certainty to the end of the three-year story about who builds and operates railroads, which workers first promised in 2017.
The project is uncertain since NZ Infrastructure, a joint venture between NZ Super Fund and CDPQ Infrastructure (Canadian Pension Fund), made a surprising proposal to build a scheme as a public-private partnership rather than Wakako Tahi (NZ Transport). It has been wrapped in. agency.
The two rivals submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Transport, which was tasked with recommending the best proposal to the Cabinet.
The ministry recommended a plan for a super fund, but Twiford faced another obstacle at the New Zealand First party and shattered the plan at the last government.
Now that we have a complete majority, Labor is ready to build its own line.
“Throughout the campaign, and since the first Cabinet decided not to proceed, we were very clear about what our preferred option was, and we want to crack it.” Said Twyford.
Twyford’s office said that “priority options” generally refer to the construction of light rail, not the planning of superfunds in particular.
The only remaining commitment to advancing the NZ Super Fund program was Greens, a potential support partner who supported NZTA’s reduction plan.
But now, Labor is a complete majority, and Greens has little leverage to carry out the plan.
Rival bidder NZTA has already given up and apparently announced that key staff on the Lightrail team will leave the organization last week.
Nicole Rosie, CEO of NZTA, said in an email to staff that Karl Devlin, general manager of rail and mass transit, will leave NZTA.
“Unfortunately, due to the government’s decision not to use light rail in Auckland, we are pleased to announce that GM Rail and Mass Transit Service Karl Devlin will leave Wakako Tahi at the beginning of the new year.”
On Twitter, Twiford denied the allegation by opposition transport spokesman Chris Bishop that the Cabinet had already decided to support the super fund.
However, NZTA confirmed that Devlin’s decision to resign was related to Lightrail’s decision.
“Following the government’s decision not to continue the Auckland Light Rail bidding process, we can confirm that Wakako Tahi Railway General Manager and Mass Transit Karl Devlin will end their employment in the organization early next year.”
It seems that no formal decision has been made to shatter the NZTA plan, but it seems that a decision has been made to proceed with the NZ Super Fund, except for its name.
Workers also revealed that their financial plans presuppose the use of public-private partnership financing schemes during elections. This takes the initial cost of building a plan from government books.
National attacked this as a $ 10 billion hole in Labor costing. If the government actually chooses the NZ Super Fund program, its initial cost is estimated to be billions of dollars and will be removed from the books in exchange for the normal fees the government pays for NZ infrastructure.
When the New Zealand First party abandoned the proposal at the cabinet level, the government kicked the project back to the Ministry of Transport for further work.
This was widely thought of as a waiting pattern until the New Zealand First party left Congress, given that three years of work had already been done on the light rail.
Mr Twiford said the cabinet wanted the Department of Transport to end work on the light rail after the election. This means that the Cabinet decision is imminent.
As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern consolidates a new cabinet, it will be clear in the coming weeks whether Twiford will continue its role.
“As a spokesperson for labor transport, it was intended to give the advice that the Ministry of Transport has been working on for the past few months in a short period of time.”
2020 Elections: NZ Super Fund Closes to $ 1 Billion Auckland Light Rail Contract
Source2020 Elections: NZ Super Fund Closes to $ 1 Billion Auckland Light Rail Contract