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Dunne: Why is Labour shafting Wellington?

Dunne: Why is Labour shafting Wellington?

Today’s comments on the Wellington region’s inadequate transport infrastructure by two Labour Cabinet Ministers is further evidence that the Labour Party is interested solely in the votes of Aucklanders and couldn’t care less about the people of the lower North Island, according to United Future leader and Ohariu-Belmont MP, Peter Dunne.

“First, we have the ludicrous spectacle of Transport Minister Pete Hodgson’s spokesman saying ‘Transmission Gully has priced itself off the agenda’!

“This is rubbish. If the government had the will, it could fund the project through a combination of public and private sources, exactly as provided for in the recent roading legislation.

“A more accurate view would be that Transmission Gully has been over-priced by Transit NZ, which constantly produces inflated figures for the Transmission Gully project without offering any contestable justification for its calculations.

“If the Minister truly wanted to see the lower North Island served by a proper transport system, he’d open up Transit’s work to other operators and we might see a realistic price emerge.”

Mr Dunne said he was also astonished by the comments of the former Transport Minister and Rimutaka MP, Paul Swain.

“At a time when we have the Resource Management Act delaying any project bigger than a birdbath and a national debate on what to do with the foreshore, it beggars belief that anyone should suggest clipping on a couple of lanes to the coastal highway.

“It is equally astounding to hear a Wellingtonian suggest having a double-decker highway in one of the most active earthquake zones in New Zealand.

“All one can conclude from these attitudes is that Labour feels it has a chokehold on voters in the lower North Island; that it therefore doesn’t have to worry about them and it can concentrate its mind on using taxpayer money to buy yachting berths for the wealthy elite of Auckland.

“It really is time for the Labour Government to start worrying about the welfare of all New Zealanders, not just the electoral welfare of the Labour Party,” said Mr Dunne.

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