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John Key should intervene in Westgate row

Phil
Twyford
Local Government Spokesperson

9 August 2011
MEDIA STATEMENT

John Key should intervene in Westgate row

Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford said Prime Minister John Key should intervene to stop government agencies undermining a new town centre development in his Helensville electorate.

Phil Twyford said the Government appeared to be embarrassed by the revelation the Transport Agency (NZTA) was blocking the idea of motorway ramps at the new Westgate town centre even though the Council was ready to fund them.

“Transport Minister Steven Joyce said in Parliament today that NZTA were talking to the developer and progress was being made. I should hope so, after five years of obstruction,” Phil Twyford said.

“The Westgate town centre development is huge. It will provide more retail than Albany and Sylvia Park combined. As part of the Northern Strategic Growth Area it is projected to generate 10,000 new jobs, and add $2 billion a year to the economy by 2051. And it is being jerked around by two government agencies: Transport Agency and Transpower.

“The Westgate development will bring much needed jobs to West Auckland. John Key needs to bang heads together at NZTA and Transpower, and remind them they should be encouraging economic development, not blocking it.”

Nine km of new motorway between Westgate and Hobsonville, and an extension of the NW motorway to Kumeu, was opened by the Prime Minister on the weekend. It cost the taxpayer $220 million.

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“The Government is stuck in the mind-set that the new motorway is a bypass to help people from the north get to the airport faster. They don’t seem to think it should serve this huge new commercial development at Westgate.

“Transpower has also been unhelpful to the Westgate development, putting the entire cost of undergrounding the power cables on to the Council and the developer, refusing to sign a contract that would give certainty, and causing endless delays that have seen the price tag for undergrounding go from $5 m to around $20 m,” Phil Twyford said.

ENDS

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