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Waikato misses out as Govt pours more money into Auckland

Waikato misses out as Government pours more money into Auckland

The Ardern-Peters Government has confirmed it plans to gut regional road funding, putting the future of the Waikato Expressway expansion to Piarere and the Kaimai Range at risk so it can pay for trams in Auckland, and it intends to charge regional motorists more to do so.

“The Government plans to cut around $5 billion out of the State Highway construction programme over the next 10 years,” Waikato MP Tim van de Molen says.

“The Waikato has benefited from strong growth and investment over recent years and the proposed extension of the Waikato Expressway to Piarere, then to the Kaimai Range would have built on this. It would also shift the bulk of heavy transport movements through the Waikato/Bay of Plenty onto this network, easing pressure and improving safety on existing State Highways.

“This is an extraordinary blow for us, from a Government which has claimed to stand behind the regions. Instead, the Government is saying our needs are secondary and ensuring tourists can get from the Auckland CBD to the airport is more pressing.

“The Waikato Expressway projects would also significantly improve safety for motorists by bypassing some of our most dangerous intersections, such as the Piarere State Highway 1 intersection with State Highway 29.

“Motorists will also be shocked at the extraordinary new taxes the Government plans to impose on them, potentially costing up to $15 more each time they fill up.

“It’s just not good enough. The National Party will strongly oppose these planned changes. I will fight for the Waikato against this attempt by the Government to take even more money out of the back pockets of New Zealand families.”

© Scoop Media

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