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Local Govt Voters Choose Green Transport

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Local Govt Voters Choose Green Transport

New Zealanders cast a clear vote for better buses, trains, walking and cycling in the local body elections, said the Green Party today.

"The decisive victory of Len Brown in Auckland, and close result in Wellington where Celia Wade-Brown is neck-in-neck with the incumbent mayor, demonstrate that New Zealanders want more transport options," said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.

Len Brown was elected mayor of the new Auckland super city by a wide margin, on a platform of a much expanded public transport network, especially rail.

The result in Wellington is yet to be determined, with Celia Wade-Brown only 40 votes behind incumbent Kerry Prendergast. Ms Wade-Brown opposes the Government's planned Wellington Northern Corridor expressway, also known as Transmission Gully, and ran on a platform of sustainable transport solutions for Wellington.

"Progressive victories across the country demonstrate that Kiwis understand the economic and environmental challenges we face, and they are ready for a sustainable transport system," said Dr Norman.

Green Party Transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes said, "In addition to Mayor Brown, the Auckland council will have strong public transport advocates in Mike Lee and former mayor Christine Fletcher.

"The result isn't surprising, since a number of recent polls have shown that Aucklanders think train and bus solutions are the smartest way to deal with our transport woes.

"Our petition to fast-track the CBD rail loop is continuing to gain support from a wide variety of Aucklanders.

"Auckland continues to send a clear message about buses and trains, but will Transport Minister Steven Joyce listen?

"The CBD rail loop should be the priority project in Auckland, not an uneconomic holiday highway to Wellsford or the expensive Waterview connection that will destroy a well-established neighbourhood," said Mr Hughes.

Green Party Active Transport spokesperson Kevin Hague said that a number of cycling advocates had been elected to local government positions across the country.

"Cycling for transport is on the rise, and local government can make a big difference by planning for walking and cycling in their transport projects and budgets," said Mr Hague.

Dr Norman congratulated all the Green Party members and candidates who stood in local body elections.

"This is a great outcome for sustainable communities and smart economics. Now we just need the Beehive to take notice of what the public want in their national transport budget," said Dr Norman.

Link to CBD rail loop petition: http://www.greens.org.nz/petitions/petition-fast-track-auckland-cbd-rail-loop

Link to article about recent Auckland transport poll results: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/auckland-regional-transport-authority/news/article.cfm?o_id=382&objectid=10673755

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