Labour hates the provinces

As predicted Labour and Len Brown have done a sneaky and furtive deal so Len can buy a trainset:

Labour would scrap the so-called “holiday highway” to fund the Auckland city rail link.

Announcing the party’s transport policy today, Labour leader Phil Goff said it would cancel the $1.69 billion Puhoi to Wellsford highway and dedicate $1.2b from the Land Transport Fund to the city rail link.

That funding would cover half the $2.4b cost of the rail link, with the other half to be funded by Auckland Council.

Nice one boys. With that one policy launch Labour has committed Aucklanders to massive rates rises, tolls and congestion pricing and decided to focus on passenger transport rather than clearing bottlenecks in the road transport network north of the bridge.

With Whangarei and Marsden point set to expand as the only viable deep water port near Auckland, Labour has condemned growth int he North at the expense of about 5% of Aucklanders who take the train.

Labour likes to call the Puhoi to Wellsford extension the “holiday highway”. Way to go on winning over provincial voters.

For the record, Wellsford, Whangarei, the Ports of Northland, the Bay of Islands and the Far North are important sectors for NZ. Likewise, the North of Auckland is an important growth area, if not the fastest growth area in NZs biggest city. Giving a superior connection to the Northern provinces of NZ and our biggest city and their growth areas strikes me as a good idea.

But then, such a policy wouldn’t make Jacinda Ardern electorally competitive in Auckland Central. (You may recall she stood in rural Waikato in 2008, or nowhere as Labour call it.)

No wonder that there isn’t a red seat north of the bridge.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.