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Don't meddle in local government decisions: Hobbs

Don't meddle in local government decisions

The $885 million transport funding the government has provided for Wellington gives councils something solid to work with and they can now choose what is best for the region, Wellington Central MP Marian Hobbs said today.

National's sudden advocacy for Transmission Gully as the answer for Wellington's western transport corridor undercuts local government and will delay any solution.

"What a contrast! While Labour MPs worked hard to get $885 million extra for transport solutions, National was out there promising that the private sector, plus tolling will build Transmission Gully," Marian Hobbs said.

"No hard cash is promised from a National Opposition, and nor can it be, unless they would borrow and hope, or not keep their promises about expensive tax cuts."

Marian Hobbs chairs the forum of the region’s MPs, councils and business organisations, which meets regularly on regional issues.

"The decision between the Coastal Highway versus Transmission Gully is one for regional and local government because it is tied to councils' local and regional planning decisions," Marian Hobbs said. "Sub-divisions, land use consents, infrastructure costs are all decided upon at that level and they all impact on roading decisions; and roading often leads to new land being opened up.

"To advocate for one solution for election publicity purposes, betrays the inexperience and meddlesome intentions of National.

"Labour has worked in partnership with local government. Under National, no partnership will be possible, as all major decisions will be decided by National politicians.

"National is promising to cut the public service. If they keep on taking away decisions from local government, then they will have to enlarge, not cut, the public service."

Local authorities have been given until December to report on a detailed implementation plan for the western corridor using $405 million of the transport funding.

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