AG's Comments Superficial And Inadequate
Attorney General’s Comments Superficial And Inadequate
Yes Take The Tolls Off But What Of Central Government’s Responsibility
The Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, Leader of New Zealand First and Member of Parliament for Tauranga, today accused Margaret Wilson of making superficial and inadequate comments on the issue of bridge tolling in Tauranga.
“There is not a person in Tauranga who does not believe that the bridge tolls should cease now. There is not a person in the Western Bay who does not believe that the current system is unfair particularly on Mount Maunganui bridge users. But for the Attorney General to forget the history of this project and slide over the neglect of Central Government policies on this issue is simply cheap politics. It was the Lange Labour Government that set the original legislation in place by which these tolls are being collected because, as a user pays government, they refused to fund the project from road taxes and left the Council with no option to fund it other than by tolls. And that goes for Route P and Route K as well.
“But I am challenging the Attorney General and the Labour Government to make up the shortfall, now, in the Tauranga road infrastructure project and give a guarantee that Central Government, from general road taxes, will fund ongoing development in New Zealand’s fastest growing city.
“The local Council has had to grapple with years of central government neglect, double talk and policy delays. Just look at the crisis building in Wellington and Auckland and one appreciates that at least the local Council is light years ahead of those two areas.
“Anyone who has sought to understand the infrastructural problems in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui will know that millions of dollars are needed to complete the roading project and then to re-configure the Mount Maunganui rail tracks to avoid the impending crisis which will see 66 rail movements a day in the near future,” said Mr Peters.