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Kapiti Expressway a waste of taxpayers’ money

4 March 2013

Kapiti Expressway a waste of taxpayers’ money

The Environmental Protection Agency’s rubber-stamp for the Kapiti Expressway is no surprise and does not alter the fact that building it would be an enormous waste of taxpayers’ money, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

The Environmental Protection Agency today released its Draft Report and Decision on the Kapiti Expressway, effectively approving the project.

“Can National think of nothing better to do with $630 million of taxpayers’ money than spend it on a duplicate highway on a route where traffic volumes are falling?” said Ms Genter.

“The Kapiti Expressway has a benefit/cost ratio of just 0.2 – that means for every dollar spent, we get just 20 cents of value, what a waste of money.

“While National’s wasting over half a billion dollars on a project that will harm communities, vital infrastructure investments, such as the Auckland City Rink Link and the Western Link Road, are on ice because the Government says that there isn’t enough money.

“We need to invest in smart, green transport projects that move more freight and people at least cost and future-proof our economy against rising fuel prices. That means more investment in rail, buses, walking, and cycling – not expensive highways.

“The Kapiti Expressway has been strongly opposed by the local communities, who don’t want to see their houses bowled and their neighbourhoods split in two to build a massive four-lane highway.

"The economics and traffic evidence presented by NZTA at the hearings was of very poor quality and leaves no doubt that this highway will create, rather than solve, traffic problems in the region.

“It is disappointing, but predictable, that the EPA has rubber-stamped the Government’s spin on the Kapiti Expressway. Now, the question is whether National is really going to waste $630 million of public money on a project that is unneeded and unwanted,” said Ms Genter.

ENDS

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