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Minister must front up immediately to show he cares about Auckland businesses

Press release
Monday 5 Aug 2019

5 August 2019

For immediate release:

City Rail Link Limited has today announced “first details of the biggest phase of work in central Auckland for the City Rail Link Project” before the Minister of Transport has responded on a proposal to provide support to businesses seriously impacted by the project to date.

Viv Beck, Heart of the City Chief Executive says that “Given recent statements from his office, it’s now time for Mr Twyford to show that he cares about the businesses already struggling from this project.” 

“After months of urging, Auckland Council has made positive signs in the last week that it will step up to support seriously impacted businesses.”

“However, a response is still to come from the Minister of Transport after pleas for him to show some human decency and support these businesses,” says Ms Beck.

“Respect, concern for mental wellbeing and human decency must extend to business too – after all, the sector creates jobs, pays taxes and ensures wellbeing for others,” said Ms Beck. 

Furthermore, Auckland’s city centre delivers around 20% of Auckland’s GDP and it is concerning that the Minister has not fronted to meet stakeholders and the businesses concerned. 

Three key things need to happen with this project:

  • High quality management so business needs are understood and respected, with disruption minimised as far as possible.
  • Hardship assistance for those who have been seriously impacted by delays and poor management of the impacts to date.
  • Wider policy questions must be addressed relating to the remainder of this project and other large-scale, long-term projects going forward such as the proposed light rail project.

“Leadership that understands and respects the needs of all stakeholders has been lacking on this project.  This must be rectified as the extent of ongoing disruption from the City Rail Link is announced to ensure business is not a wholesale casualty. 

“It also doesn’t bode well for discussions about the mooted light rail project – Heart of the City and others will be watching this very closely but our first priority is to ensure businesses impacted by the CRL project receive appropriate support as soon as possible,” said Ms Beck.

Ends