INDEPENDENT NEWS

Eastern Corridor – Moving Auckland forward

Published: Wed 23 Oct 2002 04:28 PM
Eastern Corridor – Moving Auckland forward
The Mayors of Auckland and Manukau cities today expressed delight at the decision by Auckland’s transport committee to commence a phase two detailed study of the Eastern Transport Corridor. Manukau City Council's transport committee is to meet tomorrow to consider its stance on the Corridor proposal and is expected to support it moving to phase two.
Mayors John Banks and Sir Barry Curtis said this phase of the project pushes Auckland one step closer to completing the region’s integrated transport network that has been on the drawing board for 30 years.
The phase two study will allow the councils to explore a range of options in detail and will include extensive public consultation.
Both Mayors are strongly committed to completion of the Eastern Corridor by 2007.
"In all my years of political involvement in the Auckland region, I have never been so certain about the desire of the community for a new project to proceed as soon as possible," said Sir Barry. "Overwhelmingly, the people who have spoken or written to me about the Corridor want it to go ahead.”
Mr Banks views the project as a singular leap forward for the Auckland regional economy. “This is an intergenerational project. We are putting down a footprint that will shape Auckland’s development for the next 50 years.”
As Mayors elected to move Auckland forward, Mr Banks and Sir Barry said there is no greater priority they can undertake on behalf of voters than to get the Eastern Corridor off paper and onto the ground.
Together with Transit New Zealand, both mayors are committed to undertaking the project in a way that is inclusive of community view points, strongly oriented to environmental mitigation, and properly integrated to the regional transport network – both from a roading and public transport viewpoint - to achieve the best possible transport outcomes for the region.
“We have come to the shared view that Manukau and Auckland cities must forge a team and work closely together to develop the critical economic infrastructure that both cities require to stay attractive to residents, investment and commerce,” Sir Barry said.
Both mayors will maintain a close personal interest in the project’s progress, but acknowledge the importance of ensuring the best possible expertise was secured to manage the project.
Mr Banks congratulated the chair of the Auckland City transport committee, Greg McKeown, on his leadership for developing the project through its initial stages.
He confirmed that Mr McKeown, Deputy Mayor David Hay, and Councillor Juliet Yates would be Auckland City Council’s elected representatives on the Eastern Corridor Steering Group along with the chairpersons of the Hobson, Eastern Bays and Tamaki Community Boards.
The next steps will be to formalise the project governance and management between the three organisations through a Memorandum of Understanding and to develop a business plan with clear milestones and costings.

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