Labour Must Recommit To Melling Interchange
The Labour government must immediately recommit to funding the new Melling Interchange after Stuff reported today that the project is at risk, National List MP based in Hutt South, Chris Bishop says.
“Hutt residents will be in disbelief at hearing the news that funding for Melling is yet again at risk. The project is critical for the future of the Hutt Valley and locals were explicitly told by Labour MPs all through 2020 that the project was fully-funded and due to commence in 2022.
“The government announced in January 2020 that Melling would be fully-funded as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme, but now there are news reports that the Minister will not commit to all projects announced as part of the package.
“Melling was ‘re-evaluated’ in 2018 after the new Labour government came to office and funding pushed to 2028, or later even, though the Minister said it ‘ticked all the boxes’.
“The Hutt fought back. I was proud to lead the fight, with a public meeting, a “Rally for Melling” with hundreds of residents, and nearly 10,000 people signing a petition against the funding cuts.
“The Labour government has never believed in the Melling Interchange project. The government came to office and cut $5 billion from the state highway budget and said projects like Melling were ‘uneconomic’. They only funded it under pressure from the community and National, and now here we are with the project once again on the chopping block.
“The government must immediately recommit to funding the project. The community is gearing up for another fight for the project and I will lead that charge”, Chris Bishop says.