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Who Would Be Transport Minister In A Labour-Led Coalition?

Who Would Be Transport Minister In A Labour-Led Coalition?

INSIGHTS ABOUT THE NEWS - The question of who would be Transport Minister in a Labour-led Govt is of some importance to the sector given the polls show the election outcome is resting on a knife edge.

As reported in the trans-Tasman’s sister publication, NZ Transport Intelligence Business Alert, the transport portfolio is of course an important one to Labour. It features even more prominently in the Greens and NZ First election campaigns and those parties may be keen to get their hands on the policy and funding levers.

Labour’s transport spokesperson is Michael Wood, the party’s newest MP who stepped into Phil Goff’s electorate of Mt Roskill. He’s already shown he is capable, but assuming Labour can form a Govt only if it goes into a coalition with both the Greens and NZ First, he might not make it into Cabinet.

Another Labour possibility is Phil Twyford who formerly held the role and is still associate spokesperson for transport (Auckland and Ports). Another outside candidate would be Stuart Nash who handles economic development policy.

The Greens’ transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter is highly regarded and would appear to be a strong candidate for the transport portfolio. Almost certainly she would be heavily focused on reducing fossil-fuelled transport, promoting instead public transport systems and moving away from motorway development of the kind the current Govt has favoured through its RoNS programme. She has already pledged a rail connection from Auckland’s CBD to the airport.

The question is whether NZ First, if it gets to play the role of kingmaker in the formation of the next governing coalition, will insist on the transport portfolio being allocated to one of its MPs. Leader Winston Peters has made construction of a rail link to Northport one of his party’s priorities.

He says the Northport rail link is “one of the first things we’re going to be doing straight after the election.” Denis O’Rourke is NZ First’s transport spokesman and he will want to build all those bridges in the Northland electorate, which Peters says the Govt has failed to deliver.

So, for the transport industry, it will be a matter of “watch this space” in the days following the election to see who comes out on top.


Trans Tasman’s sister publication, The New Zealand Transport Intelligence Business Alert, is a weekly source providing you with in-depth news, analysis and opinion on NZ’s transport and logistics sectors.

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