Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


How much faith can we have in Transit's plan?

30 June 2005

Maurice Williamson National Party Transport Spokesman

How much faith can we have in Transit's 10-year plan?

National's Transport spokesman, Maurice Williamson, says he is very reluctant to unequivocally embrace Transit's 10-year State Highway plan, announced today.

"The problem is that in the past Transit has made many announcements about projects but the actual delivery turns out to be dramatically different.

"Take the SH20 Mt Roskill extension. Ever since 2000, Transit has been issuing press releases saying it is to start 'later this year'. The real clanger was a release on 31 October 2001 which said: 'Transit proposes to begin construction of the SH20: Mount Roskill Extension in September 2002. Construction will take around three years, with completion expected by May 2005'.

"Rather than being completed by May 2005 it hadn't even been started by then.

"In August last year, they put out a glossy brochure to every house in Auckland saying 'SH20 Mt Roskill extension to start later this year'. Again it did not start."

Mr Williamson says today's announcement says the project will start in the 2005-06 financial year, and that the Mt Albert extension and the Manukau Harbour Crossing 'could start' in 2009-10.

"Based on its track record, five years can easily be added to that timeframe. The blame for the delay lies solely at the feet of Labour, which has let the Greens have far too much say in legislation and funding priorities.

"Transit admits these delays have added to the cost of the projects. It says 'all indicative construction costs have risen by 11% to reflect this'.

"So, I am very guarded in making any comment. Transit will have do much better than its recent track record before they earn a tick from me."

Mr Williamson says Transit chairman David Stubbs uses glowing phrases like 'a record amount of funding for next year ($968 million) and for the next decade ($11 billion)'.

"It should be noted that the amount of money spent on roading in any year in the past 20 has been higher than the years preceding it.

"National's policy of moving all petrol tax to road funding makes an extra $4.5 billion available over the next decade, and will see projects like Auckland's Western Ring Road, SH20 and the Waikato Expressway completed within the 10-year time frame.

"Dr Cullen's 'windfall' of $500 million all going in one hit to roading won't go there. My colleague John key says that money is in dispute with the banks and may end up not even being available at all.

"Little progress will be made in rolling out much-needed roading until dramatic amendments are made to the Resource management Act. National will make significant amendments to it within nine months of being elected."

Mr Williamson says National will also radically amend Labour's Land Transport Management Act, which is the sort of legislation passed when there is no commitment to a rapid roll-out of new roading.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election