Duncan Garner: Failure to get light rail from Auckland CBD to airport one of New Zealand's greatest fumbles

OPINION: I believe the failure to get light rail from the Auckland CBD to the airport is one of New Zealand's greatest fumbles. 

Labour promised it at the 2017 election but we're still waiting for work to start. 

Put simply - this is rail from the CBD, down Dominion Rd and out to the airport.

Most modern cities have this basic link.

They're not a "nice to have", they're bread and butter transport projects, let alone in the 2020s.

It's also no longer some feel-good, greenie tree hugger way to get around - and it shouldn't be a political issue either. 

Left or right, conservative or liberal, big cities work when the wealthy ditch their cars because, simply, the train is a much better bet. 

Light rail, like the one on Australia's Gold Coast, was first mooted at the end of 2014 by Auckland Transport.

Since then the woeful incompetence and inability to make a decision has put this city back decades. 

Phil Goff, Jacinda Ardern, Phil Twyford, all the Greens, the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport - I blame all of them; utterly ineffectual captains and leaders of industry who stood still scratching their heads.

Former Transport Minister Phil Twyford.
Former Transport Minister Phil Twyford. Photo credit: Auckland Transport/Newshub.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters screamed "no" to light rail. and everybody froze. Labour should have upper-cut Peters but it was too busy making him coffee.  

This could be a truly transformational project - a legacy, or whatever you want to call it.

Yes, it's costly - but so is congestion. This is an investment, not a cost. 

On Wednesday Transport MInister Michael Wood will announce the next steps. 

Can he fix it? I bloody hope so but who knows?

Wood was running Phil Goff's electoral office back in 2014 when this idea first started. 

Now he's the minister in charge of it all.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.