“After asking the Government for three and a half years to provide the public with an updated cost estimate for City Rail Link, it has finally been announced the project is yet another budget blowout for Michael Wood,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“In the past ten months alone I’ve asked Transport Minister Michael Wood to provide the public with an updated cost estimate on CRL six times, with rumours abound that costs were blowing out he refused to spare any details to the public.

“This is unacceptable. When I raised this at Transport Select Committee three weeks ago the Infrastructure Commission agreed that regular cost to complete updates were best practice for major projects.

“How can New Zealanders have confidence in the Government when they fail to provide any cost updates for three and a half years, then announce a billion dollar blowout?

“Projects like Auckland Light Rail and Lets Get Wellington Moving don’t make sense even at their budgeted costs, but with Michael Wood’s track record they are likely to blow out and it will fall on taxpayers and ratepayers to make up for the blowout. They should be put on hold until the Minister can assure the public they’re not going to spiral wildly out of control.

“Cancelling Light Rail would provide the money to pay for the CRL blowout as well.

“In a cost of living crisis taxpayers and ratepayers can’t afford to be funding projects that never go as planned. Remember the Skypath walking and cycling crossing, which was announced with a $360m budget but got canned after it rose to $785m?

“Wood needs to explain what he’s going to do to keep cost blowouts at bay, and he needs to provide more regular updates to taxpayers and ratepayers on how much they’re paying.

“There is nothing being done to ease the squeeze on Kiwi households right now. Michael Wood throwing away millions or billions extra on just about every project he touches is making it worse.”

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