INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government and mayor ducking for cover on CRL

Published: Wed 15 May 2019 06:35 PM
Government and mayor ducking for cover on CRL
Central Auckland businesses are experiencing real hardship due to the mayor and Minister of Transport failing to give adequate support to those facing uncertainty and disruption due to delays with the City Rail Link, Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says.
“We know the project has blown out and it’s really important that we get a clear timeline of construction work for businesses so they can have greater confidence in the project’s management.
“I have held several meetings with a group of affected business owners on Albert St. They have been under huge stress due to the ongoing disruption caused by construction delays and a lack of certainty over what is happening.
“I wrote to the mayor and Minister of Transport about a month ago to ask for clear timelines, greater support for disrupted businesses and a meeting with central and local government representatives involved in the project.
“But they avoided the issue of disruption costs, failed to give timelines for the remaining works and, in my view, ducked for cover by not meeting directly with residents or enabling me to meet with key agencies to get to the bottom of City Rail Link Limited’s poor treatment.
“Instead, I have been passed on to an official from CRLL, which shows there is a severe lack of accountability when it comes to this project. Businesses now want some political accountability.
“This is more than just some minor roadworks we’re talking about here. These businesses are dealing with years of intense construction, in part, due to delays with the project. The Public Works Act provides limited options for financial compensation but the council could consider some form of rates relief.
“CRLL and the mayor have told businesses in the past to get legal advice. Some of the businesses are very small and are not in a financial position to afford this.
“Now the mayor and CRLL are offering up free social media training and business mentoring. This is cold comfort when some businesses have lost thousands in revenue and are finding it hard to pay the rent or their staff.
“Some businesses have considered shutting up shop or selling, but it’s very difficult to do this given the uncertainty that surrounds the construction.

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