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Melling Re-commitment A Relief For Locals

The Government’s belated recommitment to a new Melling Interchange in Lower Hutt is a relief, National List MP based in Hutt South Chris Bishop says

“This will be a big relief to Hutt Valley residents who were worried the Government would cancel or delay the project a second time after doing so once before in 2018.

“In recent weeks thousands of people have signed my new ‘Recommit to Melling’ petition and many have emailed the Minister directly telling him to commit to Melling.

“The Hutt community has been put through unnecessary pain over the past few weeks thanks to government incompetence.

“Papers released to me under the Official Information Act reveal that the Government allowed just $47 million contingency in the government’s $6.8 billion NZ Upgrade Programme, which is less than 1 per cent of the budget.

“Having stuffed the NZ Upgrade Programme full of projects designed to solve political problems Labour created for themselves by slicing $5 billion from the state highway budget in 2018, they left themselves no contingency and decided to worry about the inevitable cost increases later.

“It’s a relief that Melling funding has been recommitted but all of this was avoidable if the Government had done their sums properly in the first place.”

Mr Bishop says he will now not proceed with an Advertising Standards Authority complaint against Labour billboards erected around the Hutt during election year.

“I was pondering a complaint on the grounds the advertisements were clearly false advertising, but given the Government’s recommitment today I will not proceed.

“Melling is a vital project for the future of the Hutt. It will ease congestion, improve flood protection, make cycling and walking easier, and increase safety. It remains my top priority as a List MP based in Hutt South and I will never stop fighting for it.”

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