North Shore Times : November 4th 2010
www.northshoretimes.co.nz Thursday, November 4, 2010 Rail a Shore thing By SCOTT MORGAN Open for business: Auckland mayor Len Brown at the new council's first meeting. Left is Albany councillor Wayne Walker. Photo LAWRENCE SMITH ' We have imagined too long. We've waited too long. We will fix Auckland's transport system. ' Mayor Len Brown THE OPENING message was loud and clear: Live in Albany, work in East Tamaki and get there by rail. New Auckland mayor Len Brown and 20 councillors were sworn into office on Monday night amid fanfare usually reserved for royalty. The 1200 or so people who packed the Auckland Town Hall were treated to an hour- long welcome from Maori leaders, numerous musical numbers on the famous town hall organ and songs performed by the Graduate Choir New Zealand. Prime Minister John Key, who addressed the inaugural Auckland Council meeting, likened it to an Auckland University graduation cere- mony he attended at the venue in 2004. The room was full of excit- ement and expectation then. The emotions here are very much the same.'' Mr Brown outlined his vision for Auckland in a 15-minute speech. He repeated his election promise of moving towards building an inner-city rail loop, extending rail to the air- port and across to the North Shore. And Mr Brown drew on the memory of former Auckland city mayor Sir Dove-Myer Robinson's vision for extending rail throughout the city to reinforce his point. Imagine how different Auckland would be now if Dove's plans had not been derailed. We have imagined too long. We've waited too long. We will fix Auckland's trans- port system.'' The former Manukau mayor says people who live in Albany should be able to get to East Tamaki for work without having to jump in their cars. While he promised to do his best to keep rates down, the new mayor warned the final amalgamation costs of com- bining eight councils into one and contribution to the leaky homes fund aren't yet known. Mr Key told the gathering his government is ready to work with the new council. This is an historic turning point for all of us. We've closed the door on conflicting, ad hoc decision making. We've closed the door on conflicting local rules, laws and strategies.'' He acknowledged there would be times when the gov- ernment and council disag- reed, but says those issues can be worked through. Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says he hopes the supercity structure will help make local government in Auckland more efficient.
North Shore Times 2nd November
November 5th 2010