Hamilton CC is aware that the Tuakau community have been strong supporters of a passenger rail service between the Waikato and Auckland for some time. Support from your community, and from others along the route between Hamilton and Auckland, has been a key factor we use when we demonstrate the depth of public support for the service.
Modern, efficient public transport connections like the proposed rail service are an essential part of any forward-looking community, and you can rest assured that the Hamilton City Council will continue to strongly press for the early introduction of such a service. Over 80% of Hamiltonians support such a service, and many hundreds have indicated they would use it on a regular basis.
There is no reason why it should not commence within the next 18 months – there is rolling stock available, passengers ready, willing and able, and infrastructure is either in place, or will not take much to put in place.
All it will need is some political courage – not demonstrated in the past by the Waikato District Council (unfortunately) or Environment Waikato – from local authorities in our region. The signs are that EW and WDC Councillors may now be willing to back this proposal more strongly than in the past – we urge you to keep the pressure on them, and to make sure their election campaign promises are really worth the paper they are printed on!
We also urge everyone involved to push the Government and its transport agency NZTA to apply the same funding investment to this service that they do for passenger rail in the Auckland and Wellington regions, or even the same as bus services receive in many regions. With this moderate level of support, the service will not only be viable, it will fly (so to speak!).
We would also like to thank the Campaign for Better Transport for the great efforts they have led to grow the support for the rail service. The 11,500-signature petition they collected in support of the rail service, and the many, many submissions they have lodged with various Councils have been inspiring.