Who needs a business case for Auckland rail?

After the 'battle of the business cases' this week over plans for an inner city rail loop in Auckland, the words of Sam Morgan offer some wisdom to luddite politicians

It seems Steven Joyce is determined to go down in history, joining the list of government politicians that have denied Auckland a fully functioning rail network.

He's hardly the first. Wellington politicians have picked holes in Auckland's desire to have a transport platform other than roads for most of the 20th century, denying funding and insisting the sums don't add up.

This week Joyce followed the precedent, declaring Auckland's business case for a $2.4 billion CBD rail loop "under-cooked".

Its typical political obfuscation and stalling. And given that it's a National government undermining a Labour mayor's key campaign promise, it also has an odour of partisan politics.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Joyce's response was decided months, if not years, ago.

Not that Auckland local body politicians have needed much help hamstringing themselves down the years.

If you watched TVNZ7's Hindsight programme on Auckland transport, you'll have seen that Auckland councillors have stepped out of committee rooms at least three times in the past generation to declare Auckland's transport problems have finally been solved. Ta da: A tram system! Drum roll: Buses that run on a rail! Voila: An inner city train loop! Yep, even that phrase goes back decades.



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