Parliament

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

 

National plays politics with regional transport

30 June 2014

National plays politics with regional transport

National’s announcement that it intends to spend $212 million upgrading regional roads is not just a naked election bribe, but poor economics, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

“National plans to pay for upgrading regional roads from the so-called Future Fund – receipts from the sale of state assets. National have essentially sold our profit generating state owned assets to pay for regular upkeep of New Zealand roads. Every householder knows that is disastrous economics,” Ms Genter said.

“National has starved the regional transport budget so much that it now needs to push through extra money from the asset sales while spending the actual transport budget on $14 billion of uneconomic Roads of National Significance.

“The fact that National needs to dip into the asset sales fund is purely because of its obsession with the Roads of National Significance (RoNS).

“This makes little economic sense as the dividend returns from the power company assets are far superior to the illusory benefits of the Roads of National Significance (RoNS)."

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee stated in a written question last month that between 2009 and 2014 National has spent $3.4 billion on the RoNS and of that, $1.5 billion was on projects the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) classified 'low' value with a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of less than 2. Another $1.9 billion of the RoNS spending had a 'medium' value with a BCR of 2 to 4, and none of the spending was 'high' value with a BCR of over 4.

"National has wasted $1.5 billion of public money on transport projects that the Government's own officials class as low value," said Ms Genter.

A study by economic consultancy BERL in May 2012 found that ‘a programme of asset sales to finance the construction of new assets leaves the Government accounts permanently worse off (compared with the baseline) in terms of debt, debt ratio and total assets’.

“National’s obsession with uneconomic highway spending means it has underfunded regional transport and is actually cutting its roading subsidy for local bodies from 58 percent to 53 percent.

“It appears to be giving with one hand, but has already taken away more with the other.

“Most regions will actually be worse off. National’s new transport package channels funding to where it thinks it needs to win votes. It is classic pork barrel politics.

"The Green Party will invest the transport budget where it is needed - maintaining local roads and improving public transport,” Ms Genter said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Policy Resurgence, And Alex Chilton

For much of this year, almost all the diversity in politics has been down at the retail end, where apparent differences reside in the tone, and in details. Up at the wholesale end – in the economic settings that drive the engine of politics – the story has been of convergence, exemplified by Labour and the Greens signing up to the Budget Responsibility Rules...

However, and only three months out from the election, there is finally some genuine good news. Twice this week, Labour has released policy that has well and truly gotten up the nose of the sort of lobby groups that it has spent most of 2017 trying to cultivate. More>>

 

Right In The Thiels: Just 12 Days In NZ Before Citizenship

DIA have received advice from the Ombudsman that a detail originally redacted from the citizenship file of Peter Thiel released in January for privacy reasons should be made available by 27 July. More>>

ALSO:

Domestic Violence And Teachers: Members’ Bills Ballot

The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn:
54 Sentencing (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill - Hon Nanaia Mahuta
16 Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa) Amendment Bill - Chris Hipkins More>>

ALSO:

Legislation: Point England Housing Bill Passed

The passage of the Point England Development Enabling Bill through Parliament this evening will benefit Auckland with additional housing, help resolve Ngāti Paoa’s Treaty claim and improve the local environment and recreation facilities, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says. More>>

ALSO:

Cyberducation: Digital Curriculum Launch And Funding Package

Consultation on new digital technologies content for the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, the Māori-medium Curriculum, was launched today by Education Minister Nikki Kaye. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Red Socks And Secret Tapes

Prime Minister Bill English began his post-cabinet press conference by explaining how well the National Party's annual conference went. He also mentioned today's announcement of changes to the EQC disaster insurance legislation and wished Emirates Team New Zealand well in the America's Cup. More>>

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government More Open

International surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog