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Transit Plays Confidence Trick On Tauranga

Media Release
7 November 2003

Transit Plays Confidence Trick On Tauranga

Tauranga’s MP and New Zealand First leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has dismissed Transit’s designation of the arterial roads around the proposed duplicate harbour bridge as ‘state highway’ as meaningless and little more than a confidence trick.

“By designating the lead-in roads without similar treatment for the bridge the roading authority is at best creating more roads to nowhere and at worst is fobbing off the people of Tauranga with an apparently positive statement that will not see the bridge built without local tolls, and will probably mean the Takitimu Drive and other developments will be left languishing at the bottom of their priority list,” Mr. Peters said.

“The whole thing smacks of politicking especially as the Transit Board when recently asked, under the Official Information Act, why they had not designated the entire route as ‘state highway’ as recommended by their management ‘conveniently’ had no records of any discussion.

“Now they have come up with a half-baked ruling that while the approach roads will be designated ‘state highway’ the vital core of the transport strategy – the bridge – will not be. This is even stranger when one considers that the cost benefit ratio for the bridge is considerably above the required level.

“There is no way that the citizens and businesses of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty should be faced with tolling for a highway of such strategic importance in the service of the country’s major port. Transit needs to immediately review its off the wall decision and treat the bridge and its approaches as one entity and list MPs Wilson and Baldock need to do something to justify their places in parliament,” Mr. Peters said.

ENDS

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