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Ombudsman to investigate RAM's toll complaints


Ombudsman to investigate RAM's toll complaints

The Ombudsman has told RAM representative Elaine West that he will formally investigate our complaints about Minster of Transport Pete Hodgson's refusal to release road tolls information to RAM (Residents Action Movement).

"I'm pleased to see that the Ombudsman has decided to investigate four issues we believe to be really important in connection with building the Orewa-Puhoi motorway as a toll road," said Elaine West.

The Ombudsman will request from the Minister:

* The minutes and reports of the ALPURT B2 (Orewa-Puhoi motorway) working group.

* Legal advice tendered on the survey of the affected community.

* Legal advice sought in relation to a "separate test" related to:
* a high degree of support from people living, studying or working close to the project; and
* the Minister postponing releasing a copy of the application for an Order in Council in relation to ALPURT B2 until 27 April 2005.

"The Minister and Government are deliberately avoiding being transparent because they want to toll roads and motorways, no matter what," said Elaine West.

"We're pleased that the Ombudsman will push for public information getting into the public arena so we can unravel the whole road toll story."

"The Orewa-Puhoi motorway will be New Zealand's first tolled road under the new land transport act," said Elaine West.

"Transit says they don't have the funds to build strategic roads. But that's nonsense. The public are being politically blackmailed into accepting road tolls."

"We must all stand up against roads being taken out of the public domain for the first time in 150 years. Our heritage is under attack from the government. We must resist this unprecedented erosion of our public values," said Elaine West.


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