The Auckland Council has voted to put back a start on the City Rail Link by two years.
Mayor Len Brown told a governing body meeting today that a 2015 start was considered too much of a stretch by the Auditor-General.
The council had assumed the Government would begin funding the main works for the project in 2015, when it is committed to a 2020 start date.
"The Auditor-General is looking for greater clarity and more reasonableness around the timing in bringing the Government to the table and getting their assurance around their commitment to funding," Mr Brown said.
The council will still proceed and fully fund "enablement works" late next year or in 2016 costing about $280 million.
That involves digging"cut and cover" tunnels from Britomart and then through Albert St to Wyndham St to clear the way for a major redevelopment of the Downtown Shopping Centre in the path of the 3.5km rail link to Mt Eden.
The main works will now be put forward in a new 10 year budget for a 2018 start.
The draft budget is going out for public consultation in January.
As Cllr. Cameron Brewer says on social media the mayor is all over the place with the CRL.
The Mayor was so excited last June when the Govt moved from 2030 to 2020, but in the last year something's obviously happened to his personal polling cos he's all over the place. In January he wrote to the PM wanting to start in 2017, November it was 2015, now its 2018!?
The Mayor convinced 14 councillors today that behind the scenes the Government is actually secretly positive about advancing the City Rail Link. On Checkpoint this evening I reported as telling him that his gut-feeling and hearsay long phone conversations with the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges won't count for much with the Auditor-General pens her formal Audit Opinion on council's LTP.
By continuing to act as though the CRL is a reality he is bankrupting the city. He is doing this by making so many commitments and letting so many binding contracts for the CRL that any incoming Mayor is going to be hamstrung. That he will be an outgoing mayor at the next election seems certain for his recent 3% polling.
There should be no further commitments made to this project until government funding is guaranteed, which it is not. What part of 2020 does the Mayor and Councillors not understand?