Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


The infrastructure solution staring Government in the face

Labour’s broken promise on Auckland’s light rail has provided a silver lining in the form of $774 million in unspent transport funds that could be used to solve our infrastructure crisis, National’s transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Now that the Auckland light rail project won’t have spades in the ground in 2020, money must be redirected towards vital highways the Government has either scrapped or stalled.

“A whopping $774m has been earmarked for light rail in the Auckland Regional Transport Plan through until 2020-21, $455m of which is from the National Land Transport Fund.

“Rather than just sit on this fund paid for by motorists, the Transport Minister should spend it on ready-to-go projects that communities are crying out for.

“He could push go now on the Waihi to Tauranga Corridor, which includes the Tauranga Northern Link. At a cost of $520 million, Treasury has advised it is ‘market ready’.

“Or he could ask Auckland Council to bring forward improvements to Mill Road and Penlink, which could both be paid for with the cash not being spent on light rail.

“There’s also the $150m Melling Interchange in Lower Hutt waiting to be built, or the Ōtaki to Levin expressway.

“This needs to happen for the sake of the economy. The light rail delay has stalled NZTA’s building programme for up to 18 months, prompting dire warnings from Treasury about the future of the construction sector.

“The KiwiBuild fiasco Phil Twyford oversaw demonstrated how little Labour’s promises can be trusted. Light rail was Labour’s other big election promise and it’s heading the same way.

“The Government needs to fix this transport mess now, rather than wheel out Megan Woods in 12 months’ time to apologise, yet again, for Phil Twyford’s mistakes.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Coronavirus: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees, And A Possible Future For RNZ Concert

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban extending until next Monday at least, presumably dependent to some extent on what Morrison decides to do later this week.
Our universities are now asking for an exemption to the travel ban for their Chinese students, who would still, the universities assure us, be subjected to strict quarantine procedures upon arrival. Given how the inability of the university system to care for its own students on campus made world news last year, that promise may not do much to reduce the coronavirus fears among the wider New Zealand public. More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Local Government NZ: New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing

A report released today by LGNZ provides a roadmap for councils finding their way through the complex policy, regulatory and market tools available to help enable more affordable housing developments for New Zealanders. With demand soaring, rents ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Concert Being Bled To Enable RNZ’s Youth Station

Release the frequencies! If only all political crises could be resolved with such (suspicious) ease. In December, the RNZ board signed off on the idea for a new youth music channel on FM. More>>


“Can Do Better”: Sallies Election Year Report Card

This year’s State of the Nation report by The Salvation Army offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress - but also an ambitious list of “can do better”. Government action is delivering limited improvements... More>>


Waitangi 2020: Bridge Between Two People

More than 2,500 people gathered this morning at Waitangi to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Treaty. People started flooding into the grounds from about 4.30am. Jacinda Ardern spoke of the bridge between two people. More from RNZ here>>






InfoPages News Channels