Government delays Labour election promise of light rail from central Auckland to airport

It was a Labour election promise; light rail from central Auckland to the airport by 2021.

But you can already shuffle that promise back, by a few years.

The minister in charge is Phil Twyford. Remember those false Kiwibuild promises that lost him the housing portfolio?

But he's insisting he's taking time to get it right. It's a priority for Labour, but not necessarily for coalition partner New Zealand First.

"The costings seem to have changed and changed in a way that is demanding [a] serious investigation as to whether those forward projections are factual or not," NZ First leader Winston Peters said.

For two years now businesses along the route have faced nothing but uncertainty, and the latest disclosures only serve to cloud the picture more.

Michael Barnett.
Michael Barnett. Photo credit: The AM Show

"I don't think there's any belief that it will happen, and I think some variation of it might, but you see we've had two years, two years of uncertainty for the people in Dominion Rd and now for the project," Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said.

And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern insists light rail is vital to unclogging Auckland's roads, and boosting its productivity.