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Labour’s panicked U-turn on the road from Puhoi to Wellsford

Labour’s panicked U-turn on the road from Puhoi to Wellsford

Backed into a corner and on the wrong side of public opinion, Labour is making up major policy on the hoof with its announcement it now supports the Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

“The brave but sensible stance of Northland list MP Kelvin Davis to stand up to the Labour leadership and state the obvious – that most people in the north support the Puhoi to Wellsford upgrade of State Highway 1 – has led to an immediate U-turn by his party today with the statement by Labour Transport Spokesman Phil Twyford that Labour would no longer cancel the road, but postpone its construction,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This is a spectacular U-turn for Labour, and as with all such maneuverers there is significant risk, and the potential for unintended consequences.

“For Labour it now raises the huge question of where the money is coming from for its commitment to immediately begin building Auckland’s City Rail Link.

“National is committed to co-funding construction of the rail link on a schedule that will see it delivered ahead of when Auckland City’s own research says it’s required.

“Labour was going to fund construction of the link from next year with money the Government has committed to building the Puhoi to Wellsford highway.

“Now it has to tell the people of Northland how long they’ll have to wait for their much-need highway upgrade, and where the $1.38 billion will come from to build it.

“That’s assuming Labour is still committed to beginning construction of the City Rail Link next year.

“Or does Mr Twyford have as big a surprise for Aucklanders today as he just delivered to the people of Northland this morning?

“Labour’s policy processes are woefully inadequate and clearly reliant on knee-jerk reactions,” Mr Brownlee says.

ends

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