Minister denies Kiwirail underinvested

Transport Minister Simon Bridges (Simon Wong)
Transport Minister Simon Bridges (Simon Wong)

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says claims the Government is underinvesting in Auckland's train network "don't stack up".

The Public Transport Users' Association (PTUA) says a lack of investment in KiwiRail was behind maintenance issues on the city's train network.

PTUA spokesperson Jon Reeves told Newshub the Government was putting too much emphasis on roads.

Mr Bridges denies this and says the Government's spending on hard rail over the past seven years matches the amount of funding it spent on the Roads of National Significance.

"Ultimately, National is a government of infrastructure that takes a balanced approach," says Mr Bridges.

"We have significantly invested in both rail and road and will continue to do."

Mr Bridges says the Government has invested billions into Auckland's rail in the forms of electrification, subsidies and KiwiRail stocks.

He adds the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and KiwiRail have been instructed to work together to ensure the best decisions are made for rail across New Zealand.

The Government and Auckland Council are also currently working on the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), which aims to lay down the best way forward to ease the city's transport issues.