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Another Labour building blow-out

Kate Wilkinson MP
National Party Associate Justice Spokeswoman

27 September 2006

Another Labour building blow-out

"Labour has again displayed its total incapacity to properly budget for public building projects," says National Party Associate Justice spokeswoman Kate Wilkinson.

She is commenting after Courts Minister Rick Barker yesterday unveiled the $65.1 million design for the new Supreme Court building in Wellington. "This figure is almost three and a half times more than that originally approved by Cabinet. After the blow-out in corrections, one would have thought Labour might be more careful with public money."

Ms Wilkinson says the cost of the Supreme Court building has been growing ever since it was approved in 2003.

"It was $19 million in 2003, by May 2006 the costs had spiralled to $53.4 million and now the all-up cost has ballooned to $65.1 million."

Ms Wilkinson says by the time the building is finished it will have taken six years from the time it was approved.

"And that's working on Mr Barker's current timetable. Given his history with forecasts, I wouldn't hold my breath.

"We already know that Labour takes a cavalier approach to the spending of taxpayer money, but an increase of more than 300% in building costs really does beggar belief."

ENDS

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