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Wellington Roading Projects Dealt Fatal Blow

18 June 2001

TRANSIT NEW ZEALAND DEALS WELLINGTON ROADING PROJECTS A POTENTIALLY FATAL BLOW

Major Wellington roading projects, such as Transmission Gully, have been dealt a potentially fatal blow by political gameplaying by the Transit New Zealand Board, says United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

Mr Dunne says the Transit New Zealand Board has decided not to submit certain major roading projects that meet the funding criteria to Transfund for funding because of the Government's announcement late last year that a further $1 billion would be required for Auckland motorway development over the next 10 years.

Mr Dunne says this essentially political decision will effectively stall many major Wellington projects, many of which are in his electorate, likely to come to fruition in the next few years, as well as other projects across New Zealand.

He says the following Wellington are placed at risk by this decision: * The upgrading State Highway 58 through Haywards * The upgrading of State Highway 2 from Petone to Melling * The Wellington Inner City Bypass * Improvements at Paremata Bridge * Transmission Gully

"I am appalled that the Transit New Zealand Board appears to have exceeded its authority on this issue and is now doing the Government's political bidding, when it was supposed to be an impartial body recommending qualifying roading projects across the country to Transfund for funding, without particular bias."

"The Wellington region has suffered for too long from the present Government's pro-Auckland bias, but this latest decision takes the cake."

"I have written urgently to the Minster of Transport demanding that the Transit New Zealand Board decision be set aside and that Transfund be directed to consider funding for all qualifying roading projects in the normal way, without being influenced by the Government's $1 billion funding statement."

"Transit New Zealand's decision destroys totally claims by local Labour MPs that Transmission Gully is just around the corner, and the misplaced confidence of the Wellington Region Council in those claims."

"When put alongside the Budget's reduction in funding for state highway construction, this shows yet again just how badly let down the Wellington region has been by its local Labour MPs, four of whom sit in the Cabinet," Mr Dunne says.

Ends


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