New Zealand Labour Party

National unravels on transport

The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.

“That makes the road potentially more expensive than the infamous and corruption riddled Sochi to Krasnaya Polyana motorway built for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. When corrupt Russian kleptocrats are more efficient than the National government, we have a major problem.

“The East-West Link is in major trouble. It is opposed by the community, local businesses, iwi, Mercury Energy (a majority government-owned company) and now even supporters like Infrastructure New Zealand are calling out the Government’s fiscal recklessness.

“What the East-West link points to is the Government’s monumental failure on transport policy. National is singularly fixated on building large, politically selected motorway projects to the exclusion of an integrated transport system that would actually solve transport problems. So far, National has said:

· No to light rail to Auckland Airport
· No to Skypath
· No to renewing urban cycleways funding
· No to upper North Island commuter rail
· No to increasing funding to run down regional roads

“Instead they have issued a press release promising $10.5 billion on more motorway projects with hardly any costings and no detail as to whether they will be free or tolled. There has never been a government prepared to spend so much money on transport to so little effect.

“Labour’s plan is different. We will build an integrated transport network bringing roads, rail, walking and cycling, and coastal shipping together. We’ll make investments based on evidence rather than Ministerial photo opportunities. We’ll build a modern public transport network in Auckland which connects the city to its airport, deliver commuter rail in the upper north island, stop the crazy de-electrification of the rail network, and double regional roads funding so that we can work with local councils to repair and improve dangerous local roads.

“The contrast is clear on transport. A National government with a 1950s roads mania which will spend up large but make transport worse, or a new Labour Government with a future focussed plan that will get people and freight moving in New Zealand,” says Michael Wood.