The governments dismissal of the City Rail Link the other day isn’t the first time and it may not be the last time yet either. But looking back in history it seems like the tactics employed by the government today seem not that different from those previous attempts. Take a look at this page which came from the Auckland Star on 18 January 1930. This is when it was reported that the Morningside Deviation, as the project was then known, was being abandoned. Here are some of the things that sound eerily familiar.
- The government had asked for a report on the feasibility of the project but it was widely seen as having had a predetermined outcome and was a delaying tactic to help the government get elected.
- They included additional costs in the project such as the need to electrify all the way to Helensville.
- There was a general resentment in government of Auckland, led largely at the time by the prime minister who was from the South Island
- They only really considered its merits based on its impact to freight as they didn’t believe in the patronage projections.
- They hinted at other projects that may be considered in the future but that they had no intention of investigating let along funding.
- While in Auckland local leaders were worried about the impact the decision would have, especially on the roads.
- Its also noted that part of the reason locals initially accepted the decision to move the railway station away from the CBD (from Britomart to where the now old station is) was because of the proposed tunnel which would have given stations in the middle of town.
Click to see the full paper as all up about half of the page is dedicated to it. Perhaps also worth noting that the liberal party was in power at the time and remnants of that party went on to form National