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PoliticsJanuary 28, 2016

A brief history of National MPs trashing the rail link they just funded

In light of National’s decision to fast-track the City Rail Link, Hayden Donnell looks back at some of the times the party’s top MPs scorned the project as a terrible idea beloved only by wastrel lefties.

National’s stance on public transport in Auckland lurched toward sanity yesterday, with an announcement it will fast-track funding for the City Rail Link. Prime Minister John Key’s promise to start work on the $2.5 billion dollar project by 2018 differs slightly from his party’s original position, which, paraphrased, was that it would rather seal a billion dollars inside a life-size gold statue of Kim Dotcom than build anything other than a motorway in Auckland.

Now the tables have turned, and all it has taken is years of mind-numbing public debate, countless studies, and almost universal public frustration at the party’s stubbornness. National MPs, once so proudly opposed, must pretend to agree with the rail-loving pinkos they despised. Given the turnaround, we decided to take a walk down memory lane, and revel in the times National’s grandees trashed the project they now promise to fund to the tune of more than a billion dollars.

– Former Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee raising a point of order with Labour MP Phil Twyford

– Former Transport Minister Steven Joyce on the project his Government has now funded

– Brownlee gently chides John Campbell on rail patronage and design, explaining that a 3.5km tunnel is no big deal

– Brownlee on a report by multi-national engineering corporation Sinclair Knight Merz, which designed Dublin’s light rail system and Auckland’s central motorway junction

– Brownlee appeals to the younger generation, referencing a conman who built a shoddy monorail on a 1993 episode of The Simpsons

– Transport Minister Simon Bridges on rail’s failure to excel

– Joyce issuing a warning about the CRL and the future of all the money, 2010

– Joyce on the benefits of building the CRL, 2011

– John Key on the benefits of building the City Rail Link, yesterday

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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