Auckland’s Rail Link

First listen to Auckland’s Underground Rail to find out what the plans are for the rail link.

At that stage – June this year – the government had agreed to pay for half the cost of the rail link. That of course means New Zealand taxpayers will pay half the costs of Auckland’s rail link. Also at that time, the estimated cost was $2.5bn. The government planned to start paying in 2020.

Today marks two changes. One is the estimated cost has now risen to a sum between $2.8bn and $3.4bn. The other change is that the government will start payments as early as the beginning of next year. Construction costs tend to rise and perhaps that is the reason the government does not want to wait another four years.

The mayor, Len Brown, was very happy about the agreement with the government today. The Auckland City Council will still have to pay half the costs and that is a lot of money for ratepayers.

Vocabulary

• taxpayers – everyone in New Zealand who earns money pays a tax to the government agency, the Inland Revenue Department
• estimated (adj) – a good guess of the cost
• tend (v), have a tendency to (n) – usually move in a direction
• ratepayers – home owners in the city pay rates to the council depending on the value of their property






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