Winston Peters warned about potential Auckland light rail cost blowout

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he has been told to be "alert" to potential cost blowouts for the light rail project in Auckland.

Mr Peters said no such concerns were raised with him from ministerial colleagues, including Transport Minister Phil Twyford of the Labour Party. He suggested that a cost blowout for a project currently estimated to cost $6 billion could be a reason for NZ First to oppose the project.

"If I've had cause to say, 'Prick up your ears and try and listen and find out,' yes I have been told to be on the alert for costs," Mr Peters said in an interview.

Labour campaigned on the project during the 2017 elections, and its confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party promises that "work will begin on light rail from the city to the airport in Auckland".

But there is nothing about the project in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.

Another NZ First MP and Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones, was horrified by some projections of costings for the project, including warnings that those costs could rise.

Mr Peters also suggested that a cost blowout for the project currently estimated to cost $6 billion could be a reason for NZ First to oppose the project.

"A blowout is something that every politician should be looking to avoid. We'd have to know that there wasn't a blowout, going into the future,” the Party Leader said.

 

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12278330

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