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Timing of Route K news ‘cynical election bribe’


Timing of Route K news ‘cynical election bribe’

NZ Independent Coalition candidate for Tauranga, Michael O’Neill slammed the timing of today’s announcement on Route K as a cynical election bribe. He asked how high the tolls are going to rise.

“The sole reason for an announcement 33 days before the election is that John Key thinks Simon Bridges and Todd Muller are at risk of losing the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty seats,” he said.

“The reality is that the only effective MP in the area, NZ Independent Coalition Leader Brendan Horan, has been on the case of Route K for 18 months.

“Brendan has asked many Questions in the House, he has spoken on it in the Budget Debate and at other times, he has met the Minister and he has met NZTA officials. Brendan Horan has repeatedly called for NZTA to take over both Route K and the debt,” said Michael O’Neill.

On 23 October 2013 in Parliament, Brendan predicted what happened today: “Why has [Route K] not been handed over to the New Zealand Transport Agency? Are we going to wait until just before the election?”

The great news for ratepayers is that Tauranga will be free of the $10,000/day interest cost of the debt. What today’s announcement is silent on is how much the Route K tolls are going to be. Will they rise to the high level of the Tauranga Eastern Link? Or will tolls rise even higher? That question must be answered.

Michael O’Neill also says today’s news highlights another broken promise. “Six years ago John Key stood in Tauranga and promised a four-lane link from Cameron Road to the Hairini Roundabout. Not only has nothing happened, National have abandoned that promise.

“Voters would do far better to give their candidate votes locally to Michael O’Neill and Brendan Horan, and their party vote to NZ Independent Coalition. We are offering political representation by locals, for locals,” said Michael O’Neill.

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