Twyford another minister MIA as Collins smacks government with petitions on roads

MP Judith Collins

She might have been fishing, but she has also been busy over the break coming up with annoying petitions for the government to have to respond to in order to justify their anti-road decisions.

The National Party is launching a series of petitions to drum up support for major highway projects which it says are at risk of not going ahead.

The government derided the move as “misleading” and “nonsensical” and said National never costed or funded many of the promised roads.

National’s transport spokesperson Judith Collins said the Labour-led government had wrongly thrown many crucial transport links into doubt.

“Don’t keep saying you’re not committing. Tell us what you want to do,” she said.

“Because right at the moment – after some months in the job – we’ve still got no idea what they’ve committed to.”  

I don’t think Phil Twyford has the faintest idea as to what to do. He’s spent years in opposition gobbing off about how he knows best, and now he is minister he is going to have to deliver that…if he can.

The government had already scrapped plans for Auckland’s contentious East-West motorway link and was reviewing other projects around the country.

A Minister of Transport spokesperson said the government had not altered any existing roading project other than the East-West link.

“The Mill Road Corridor upgrade is an Auckland Transport project and planning is continuing.

“It important to note that the other ‘highway projects’ referred to in National’s petition do not exist. They were election campaign promises made by National in August and never costed or funded.

“To suggest the government isn’t going ahead with projects that don’t exist is misleading.”

So, no comment from the Minister, but his little servants in the Ministry are busily commenting and playing politics. Nice to know. In a couple of years this will be one ministry to have their swamp drained.

The affected roads include:

  • The upgrade of the Redoubt-Mill Road corridor from Manukau and Flat Bush to Papakura and Drury
  • The extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to the foot of the Kaimai Range, and from Cambridge to Tirau
  • The continuous four lane extension of the Northern Motorway from Warkworth to Whangarei.
  • An East West Link Road project between the Onehunga-Penrose industrial area and State Highways 1 and 20
  • The Tauranga to Katikati Road project as a continuous four lane State Highway with wide lanes and safety measures
  • The four laning of the Napier to Hastings Expressway
  • The Otaki to north of Levin expressway road project
  • The Christchurch Northern Motorway between Belfast and Pegasus
  • The construction of the four-lane State Highway 1 link between Christchurch and Ashburton

Ms Collins said the projects had been put at risk by the government’s “obsession with Auckland trams”.

“Roads from Northland right through to Ashburton are being “reviewed” while the government attempts to divert billions of dollars to pet light rail projects.”

The wombles at the Minsitry of Transport reckon funding can’t be redirected into rail…but I’ll bet you a dollar to a knob of goat poos they’ll try.

Where’s Twyford? Another Labour minister MIA?


-Radio NZ

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