Labour's Phil Twyford is critical of the New Zealand Transport Agency's decision to rule out extending Auckland's rail system to the airport.
Instead officials have opted to investigate trams and driverless buses to link the city centre to the country's biggest airport.
"They've written off the option of heavy rail to the airport, that's a very, very significant decision. The option of light rail to the airport depends on the proposed light rail network on the isthmus."
Mr Twyford says it's a bold move to make without public consultation.
"This Government's got a track record of not putting new money into public transport infrastructure that's needed. I'm worried that it's another piece of short-term penny pinching," he says.
"We'll never be a world-class city unless we invest in a decent public transport system."
Extending the current rail line to the airport would cost around $1 billion more than a light rail tram connection.