The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union says Michael Wood's announcement of a $14.6 billion tram will only serve to intensify the major challenge currently facing New Zealand households: inflation.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, "A day after we hit the highest inflation figures in decades, we would have hoped to see the Government unveil measures to rein in its spending and ease living costs. Instead, Michael Wood has announced the opposite: $8000 in new spending for every Kiwi household, just to fund a slow tram to Māngere."
"Does he think he can defy gravity? Any first-year economics student could have told him that using billions in taxpayer funds to bid up the costs of labour and material will result in even higher living costs for Kiwi households."
"This has to be the Government's biggest boondoggle yet, at 19 times the cost of the scrapped Auckland bike bridge. And looking at the Government's track record on infrastructure projects, you'd be mad not to expect cost blowouts in the tram's future."
To put the sheer scale of the spending into perspective, $14.6 billion is:
- $608,000,000 per kilometre
- $608,000 per metre
- $6,080 per centimetre
- $7,978 for every Kiwi household from Kaitaia to the Bluff
- More than twice as much as Labour's original 2017 tram-to-airport proposal and five times higher than NZTA's 2016 tram-to-airport proposal
- Equal to the estimated cost of a second Waitematā Harbour crossing
- Enough to build four new Transmission Gully motorways
- Enough to build ten new Dunedin Hospitals
- Enough to build 21 Waitematā Harbour cycle bridges
- Enough to conduct another 540 flag referenda
- Enough to buy every house in Whanganui