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Transport Policies Stifle Economic Growth

Transport Policies Stifle Economic Growth

The Government and the Greens are seeking to stifle New Zealand's economic growth on the false assumption that private motor cars and road transport create more problems than they solve, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc). Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

The two Transport Bills currently before Parliament signal a great leap backward for New Zealand, said Mr. Pedersen.

"The Government's Land Transport Management Bill proposes to largely replace objective cost/benefit criteria with subjective politically driven criteria while the Green's Road Transport Reduction Bill seeks to artificially suppress road use.

The Green Party states that "growth in the speed and volume of motorised road traffic is the underlying cause of many social, environmental and economic problems." Their solution, a shift towards "a model of access and mobility based around localisation, with increased public transport services, cycling and walking and greater use of rail and coastal shipping for freight movement is no solution."

"The Green's idea that cars and roads are a negative to New Zealand life is ridiculous. New Zealanders have made huge social, environmental and economic gains from the roading network, which far outweigh the costs.

"New Zealand does not lend itself to the wide use of public transport or rail and coastal shipping. Agriculture has gained significantly from a cost effective transport sector. Our industry has no option but to use private motor cars and private trucks to meet their social, health, educational and economic needs.

"The Government's Land Transport Management Bill, while sensibly enabling tolled roads to be built under public/private partnerships, signals a move back to the 1950's where political whims rather than carefully thought out and objective measures, ruled road funding decisions.

"If the Government is genuine in its desire to see New Zealand climb the OECD economic status ladder more, not less, investment is required in the roading infrastructure."

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