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Labour forgets there is life beyond city limits

Simon Bridges - Leader of the Opposition

30 January 2020

The Government has forgotten there are more parts of New Zealand in dire need of infrastructure upgrades than just Auckland, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“The most disappointing thing about Jacinda Ardern’s infrastructure plan is how many parts of New Zealand she has forgotten about, like, for starters, the South Island.

“It says a lot about the Government's priorities when $3.48 billion is announced for projects in Auckland with less than $250 million for the entire South Island.

“In Canterbury, people are crying out for a motorway between Belfast and Pegasus, with a bypass at Woodend, which is rapidly growing in size. They don't feel safe crossing SH1 to get to the school or to catch the bus, and this Government isn’t delivering for them.

“The Prime Minister has also ignored the fact SH1 between Ashburton and Christchurch is the second-most dangerous stretch of road in New Zealand for fatalities and serious injuries.

“Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman, the West Coast and rural Canterbury all completely missed out, and when it comes to the Deep South the only part the Prime Minister seems to be familiar with is Queenstown.

“Regional New Zealand in general got the short end of the stick. There’s was little-to-nothing in the way of infrastructure for Taranaki, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne – the list goes on.

“These are productive parts of the country that, in many cases, are experiencing strong population and visitor growth. They need better infrastructure just like Auckland does.

“These are inconvenient truths a Government that says it wants to deal in facts but isn’t capable of doing so. The latest spin out of their mouths is that National’s big roading projects, which it put on ice back in 2018, were never funded.

“For starters, NZTA briefing papers from when I was Transport Minister in 2017 clearly show it approved an investment programme for SH1 between Whangarei and Te Hana, including the four-lane highway to Port Marsden announced yesterday.

“Unlike Labour, National is the party of infrastructure and we will deliver. We won’t forgot about the New Zealanders who are working hard and paying taxes outside our city limits.”


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