The National-led Government will be asked to jump aboard Auckland's billion-dollar rail electrification project in the first weeks of power.
Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee yesterday said the council was days away from making a major decision to order a fleet of 35 electric trains.
Mr Lee said the ARC wanted to brief the new Government and gain its support before he called an extraordinary meeting to proceed with the first major component of the electrification joint venture with the Government.
Under the joint venture, the ARC's transport arm will provide the trains and support infrastructure costing $500 million.
The Government will pay a similar amount to electrify the lines from Papakura to Swanson.
The project only got rolling last month when the Labour-led Government approved a regional fuel tax to pay for the ARC's share for electrification and other public transport infrastructure.
The levy starts at 2c a litre next July and rises to 9.5c by mid-2011.
Mr Lee said National, in opposition, had assured the ARC it supported electrification but it was not clear about funding for it.
Last night, National's spokesman on Auckland issues Wayne Mapp confirmed his party's support for electrification for three reasons.
It would provide faster services, the present trains were being held together with a bandaid and it was an essential long-term project for Auckland.
Dr Mapp said it was important and made sense for the incoming Government to receive a briefing from the ARC.
It would give the Government a better sense of the total cost, he said.
National's win on Saturday received a warm response from Auckland leaders, who believe the party of free enterprise will find new ways of boosting infrastructure spending.
Auckland City Mayor John Banks said Auckland had made progress in the past six or eight years on infrastructure, but the Government needed to have a greater focus on big projects that needed $1 billion of investment every year for the next 20 years.
He signalled an intention to push for a $1 billion-plus underground city rail loop.
Mr Banks has also proposed a local economic summit before Christmas to give the Government an overview of the Auckland economy and fallout from the global recession.
North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said National's election spelled the end of plans for a commercial airport at Whenuapai and faster progress of public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett welcomed National's decision to appoint a minister for infrastructure and its commitment to changes to the Resource Management Act. He looked forward to National bringing projects forward - like completing the western ring road that could capture construction industry expertise built up in Auckland over 15 years and provide economic benefits on completion.
The win has also upped the ante between Mr Banks and Mr Williams over the outcome of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Auckland Governance.
Mr Banks, a former National cabinet minister, is lobbying for the one-city/community councils model, while Mr Williams is targeting the four National MPs on the North Shore to keep the status quo on the Shore.
Mr Banks said his primary focus between now and when the commission reports in March - outside management of the global economy - was to get the "ducks lined up" for a long overdue change of governance.