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Road fix needed now, not later

Road fix needed now, not later

Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.

“According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008.

“The latest storm, which has lasted 12 days, has clearly demonstrated our roads are not up to the pressure of extreme wet weather.
“We also need to have reliable alternative state highway options when SH1 is closed – as happened just south of Kawakawa.

“Neither the Ruapekapeka or Mangakahia Roads, which were used as temporary alternative routes, were able to withstand the extra pressure of heavy truck use, while three slips closed SH1 at Brynderwyn over the weekend, putting pressure on both the Paparoa detour and Waipu Cove detour routes.

“With Northland moving $1.8 billion worth of goods by road each year, it is vital that at least one second ‘main artery’ is formed. An upgraded Mangakahia Road would be the obvious choice.
“Greater use also needs to be made of coastal shipping and rail – upgrading the rail line between Auckland and Northland and the Marsden Point rail link would both improve access to the North.

“At the recent Northland Mayoral Forum it was decided that MPs, the various district councils and the Northland Regional Council would work out a transport plan to meet the future transport needs of all of Northland after the general election.
“The storm shows we can’t wait. We have to get that plan underway now.”

ends

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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