National neglects regions’ transport needs

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party


Transport Spokesperson

30 June 2013


National neglects regions’ transport needs

Regional New Zealand has been forgotten again as National spends up the transport budget in vote-rich cities says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“If John Key and Gerry Brownlee had a vision for New Zealand, they would be investing in an integrated transport network that connects the regions to the world. Instead they are fixated on uneconomic and unaffordable motorways built to buy votes not a better transport network.

“National’s U-turn, adopting the policy that Labour and Len Brown have long advocated for Auckland transport, is good news. But they have also committed so much spending to their low-value Roads of National Significance there is nothing left for the regions.

“High-value yet inexpensive projects that would open up economic opportunities across the country are being left on the back-burner leaving regional communities frustrated by the Government’s intransigence.

“Councils are battling the Government to get support for projects like the Whakatu Arterial Road in Hawkes Bay, the Napier to Gisborne railway line and State Highway 3 in Taranaki.

“In places like the Far North and Tararua log trucks and milk tankers have nothing but gravel roads to travel on. A real nationwide transport strategy would make sure quality local roads and highways allow efficient movement of these valuable goods.

“National has no transport strategy. Its Transport priorities are ad-hoc and politically biased. Labour will focus on what’s best for New Zealand, the projects that represent good value for money and building an integrated network that everyone can benefit from,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.


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