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$4.5m price of PC on Ruapehu lahar

$4.5m price of PC on Ruapehu lahar

Spending $4.5 million to protect the Tangiwai Bridge from the expected Mt Ruapehu lahar is madness when it would cost just $60,000 to remove the risk with earth-moving work at the crater lake, says National's Environment spokesman Nick Smith.

Dr Smith is commenting on an announcement today by road-funding body Transfund that it has approved the money to protect the bridge on State Highway 49.

"This is political correctness gone mad.

"It is a waste of valuable roading dollars that would be far better spent on reducing congestion in Auckland or saving lives with much-needed road safety works.

"This $4.5 million is just part of the price-tag for this Government not wanting to offend Maori and environmental puritans who refuse to allow any work in the National Park.

"On top of this cost are other structures like the Tangiwai Railway Bridge, the Tangiwai toilets and memorial that also are at risk from the lahar.

"The common sense solution is to stop the lahar by removing the ash barrier, not in trying to minimise the damage caused by the 1.3 million cubic metres of water rushing down the mountain," Dr Smith says.

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