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 Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news