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National Failing to Deliver on Bay of Plenty Roading Promise

National Failing to Deliver on Bay of Plenty Roading Promises

In the House last week Independent MP Brendan Horan raised the issue of John Key’s now six-year-old promise to relieve congestion for commuters from the eastern regions of the city, his promise to build a tunnel from Welcome Bay, with a four-lane Hairini Bridge, and roading into City. Minister Brownlees reply has stunned Mr Horan, the Mayor and ratepayers.

Tauranga urgently needs a new four-lane Hairini Bridge with separate cycle space and walking access for school children. It needs MP’s who will stand up and fight for what hope is there for his latest round of promises to build regional roads he said.

On 4 November 2008, John Key as Leader of the Opposition stood before the voters in Tauranga and promised ‘a four-lane State Highway which runs from Fifteenth Avenue, along Turret Road to the Hairini intersection.’ John Key unequivocally committed to a project including ‘a new bridge at Turret Road.’

“It seems the only thing Bay of Plenty voters can be certain of is that the Prime Minister and his local candidates Simon Bridges and Todd Muller cannot be trusted to deliver on a promise made,” said Brendan Horan.

“The National Party in 2014 are committing to leaving in place the two-lane bottleneck of the Hairini Bridge for the foreseeable future. Though currently a State Highway the NZ Transport Agency have brokered a deal with the city to take over Route K (though not the debt of $60 million) and hand over the Hairini problems to the city to manage, changing the roads classification to a local road, along with an unknown additional cost of $45 million to remediate the problems the Prime Minister promised to fix. Adding insult to injury for local Ratepayers.

“Yesterday, the Prime Minister promised $212 million for regional roading projects. Nothing for Tauranga, what chance have these project of getting underway? said Brendan Horan.

Local residents are paying for roading through vehicle licensing, through petrol taxes, and through road user charges. Tauranga has been shafted by National-led Governments. Route K is a millstone around the necks of ratepayers and its debt will be a burden for 35 years to come. Now it appears we are being gifted another.

“What is needed now is action,” said Brendan Horan. “Immediate action is needed to scrap the Hairini Tunnel and build the four-lane bridge that will deliver a much-needed solution to congestion in Tauranga,” I will continue to fight for this on behalf of the Tauranga and BOP electorates he said.


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