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Inconvenient truths worth listening to

Iain Lees-Galloway
Transport Spokesperson

20 March 2013

Inconvenient truths worth listening to

The Environment Protection Agency must demonstrate that it is more than just a rubber stamp for Government policy when it considers the application lodged by the New Zealand Transport Agency for consent to build its $251 million Peka Peka to Otaki expressway.

“Submitters to the EPA board of inquiry that recently approved consents for the MacKay's to Peka Peka section of the Kapiti expressway felt the process was nothing more than an expensive farce,” Labour’s Transport spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“We do not live in a dictatorship. The EPA is a servant of Zealand’s people and of the environment, not a slave to the predilections of a highway-addicted Government.

“The views of the people who will be directly affected by these projects need to be taken into account, even if their opinions do not align with Government plans.

“When submitters say roading proposals cost more than we can afford, will cause unnecessary environmental damage and are a sub-optimal solution to the region’s transportation needs, the EPA should listen and act. It mustn’t just dismiss them because their evidence is inconvenient for the Government.

“Labour will continue to oppose construction of this highway of dubious value. There are better options for moving people and freight north from Wellington.

“Sensible improvements to roading infrastructure combined with better rail and a plan to restore coastal shipping will deliver a more efficient, cost-effective transport network.

“National’s obsession with building mega-highways is an economic folly. Their impact on communities and the environment needs far greater consideration than has been given in the past.”

ENDS

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