Wellington's road upgrades missing from Government programme
The Government's announcement of a $12 billion spend up on new infrastructure projects is bypassing our capital city, according to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"Today's 'New Zealand Upgrade Programme' is an admirable boost to infrastructure investment; unfortunately, it barely makes it past Hamilton, with Wellington city receiving no additional transport funding," says Chief Executive John Milford.
"There is a lot of good news for desperately needed road, rail, hospital and school upgrades. I particularly welcome the projects for the wider Wellington region including neonatal, maternity and acute mental health facilities, as well as the Melling interchange, the Otaki to Levin four-landing and the upgrades to our commuter rail network.
"However, as congestion continues to rise, it is really disappointing to see none of the urgently needed roading and public transport projects within Wellington city get attention.
"This is despite the Government's talk of supporting our multi-billion dollar Let's Get Wellington Moving package that took over three years to put together.
"So now it is left to Wellington's ratepayers to put their hands in their own pockets while Government-funded projects elsewhere are prioritised.
"It is staggering that we can have a $700 million four-lane road to Marsden Point, but there's nothing for the two-lane road to Wellington Airport.
"Yet, the Government is expecting Wellingtonians to stump up with 40 per cent of the cost of basic infrastructure projects like fixing the Basin Reserve and, in a decade's time, a second Mt Victoria tunnel.
"This is not only disappointing to our members but will set back the city's growth at a time when the investment is needed to transform the city into a more compact, liveable city with lower housing costs.