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Winston Peters and Simon Bridges joke over running race down Auckland's Dominion Rd in underpants

The deputy Prime Minister and Opposition leader today joked over a running race down Auckland's Dominion Rd, in which Simon Bridges previously pledged to do in his underpants if work on Auckland light rail project began before the 2020 election. 

During today's Question Time, Mr Bridges asked Winston Peters if Auckland's light rail would be completed by 2021.

"On behalf of the Prime Minister, who has conceded that possibly not by 2021," Mr Peters said. "If you're the inheritors of nine years of nothing then sometimes it takes a bit of time to wind things up, it's not as quick as we hoped."

Light rail from Auckland's city centre to the airport was a key promise by Jacinda Ardern during the 2017 election campaign, however delays and potential cost blowouts that could amount to billions of dollars have struck Auckland's light rail project.

Earlier this week, it was revealed the biggest transport pledge by this Government was derailed by one of its own agencies, the New Zealand Transport Agency.

"I was disappointed that I think NZTA dropped the ball and we lost six months in the process," said Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

NZTA boss Sir Brian Roche has admitted the proposals have been mishandled.

In August, Mr Bridges said he would "run down Queen St or Dominion Road with my underpants" if work began before the next election. 

"It's just not going to happen," he said. Transport Minister Mr Twyford said at the time that made him more motivated but "the public do not deserve to be exposed to that kind of spectacle".

Today, Mr Bridges asked Mr Peters if the project was complete by 2021 would he "join me in a running race down Dominion Rd, or am I fairly safe in that prediction?"

"I want to make this very clear to the whole country," Mr Peters said. "This Government is going to do its utmost, to avoid the obscenity of someone, namely the Opposition (leader), running down Dominion Rd in his underpants and if there was a race between him and me I would give him a 30 metre start."

Speaker Trevor Mallard told the House that "frankly, the sight of either of the members during that, isn't that edifying".