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Floods Highlight Wellington’s Transport Needs

Paekak Floods Highlight Wellington’s Road Transport Needs, Says Regional Chamber

New Zealand’s Chambers of Commerce want to ensure that no region is held back by poor infrastructure or constipated decision-making.

“Among all developed countries, New Zealand must have the slowest and most constipated decision-making process on transport infrastructure” said Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Philip Lewin today,

The Chamber supports calls for a rational strategic approach to planning and funding Wellington and New Zealand’s transport needs.

“As our Regional Council is stressing, Wellington is severely under-funded – and meanwhile there are several vital roading projects which are just not getting built”.

“In addition to the long-awaited City Bypass, we’ve got a standstill on the Kapiti Western Link”.

“And as last weekend’s floods at Paekakariki amply demonstrated, the lack of a secure and weather-proof route northwards spells major trouble for Wellington”.

“What other country would allow access to its capital city to be severed in this fashion?” Mr Lewin asked.

“As we’ve argued consistently, the decision should be taken now to either get on and build Transmission Gully- if necessary on the basis of national security - or otherwise fundamentally upgrade State Highway One”.

Mr Lewin continued: “Of course Government funding for roads must be increased – but not just by shovelling the same pot of money around. As a nation we should be investing in the roads we need, where we need them, not running an inter-provincial contest”.

“New Zealand Chambers want there to be fewer local government entities, who then make better decisions on roading priorities. Investment in infrastructure needs to be based on accurately anticipated future growth, not just on today’s bottlenecks”.

“The current draft Land Transport legislation needs to make far better provision for the use of private funding.”

“And we want to see the Resource Management Act amended to include as a criterion “the enhancement of New Zealanders’ general material standard of living”.

“We are for New Zealand’s needs to be addressed on a nationwide basis. But in saying this, let there be no doubt about it: Wellington’s serious infrastructure deficit must be fixed – as a matter of urgency” said Mr Lewin.

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