Labour wants light rail through Auckland CBD

Artist impression of the light rail line (Auckland Transport)
Artist impression of the light rail line (Auckland Transport)

The Labour Party has announced it will invest in the construction of a light rail line in Auckland from Mt Roskill to the CBD, if it wins next year's election.

Leader Andrew Little today announced plans to build a 13km line from Wynyard Quarter to Britomart, along Queen Street to Dominion Road, ending in Mt Roskill.

Labour says the potential patronage is "very high by international standards", with 29,000 people living and 48,000 jobs located within 500m of the planned stops.

Labour says the Government will meet half the cost of the line, estimated to be $680 million, with the other half met by Auckland Council.

Construction will begin "as soon as possible", and the line will be a foundation for a light rail network in Auckland.

Mr Little says the development will be prioritised to alleviate Auckland's worsening congestion.

"Right now, gridlock is choking Auckland's ability to grow," says Mr Little. "Auckland Council wanted to build light rail from Mt Roskill to the CBD within ten years, but National has refused to commit funding."

National Party candidate for Mt Roskill Parmjeet Parmar blasted the announcement, saying it was "overblown" and a "shameless flip-flop" from her opponent, Labour candidate Michael Wood.

She criticised Mr Wood for changing his stance on light rail. Last year, Mr Wood called for clearer information on light rail funding in 2015 after Auckland Transport announced plans to extend tramlines along key routes in the central suburbs.

Auckland Transport says light rail offers the best benefit-to-cost ratio to improve transport around Auckland's isthmus.

The announcement comes ahead of the Mt Roskill by-election on December 3, with Michael Wood standing for Labour and Parmjeet Parmar for the National Party.