Todd Muller calls out Phil Twyford

Video and photos by Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

Click the image above to watch the video

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller has challenged Minister of Transport Phil Twyford over State Highway 2, between Te Puna and Omokoroa.

It’s quarter past eight on Monday morning and the traffic is slow moving.  Todd wants to call the Minister to account for the lack of action by the Labour-led government over the state highway.

“Phil Twyford hasn’t visited Tauranga in his capacity as Minister of Transport, which I find quite surprising bearing in mind the needs of the city,” says Todd.

“I want to put him in my car and show him how bad this State Highway 2 is.

“It makes it an extraordinarily long commute. And highly frustrating for the locals. You can be sitting in this traffic sometimes for an hour each morning.”

Todd has lived in the area for over 40 years and recalls when the roads around Te Puna were loose metal.

“In many ways successive governments have talked about the importance of this state highway and ways to fix it. As the previous government, we did significant investment in the east. Tauranga Eastern Link was built.

“We’d committed to start the Northern Link, which is the bypass of Te Puna, this year. The new government hasn’t committed to that. In fact the new Transport Minister hasn’t turned up to this city yet. 

“He doesn’t turn up until April. My challenge to Phil Twyford is that this is a city that is growing very fast, and the communities of Pahoia, Te Puna, Omokoroa deserve better than this.”

Todd wants Phil to give him an hour of his time, sit in his car, and be driven along the highway.

“I want him to see how bad it is and what local people have to put up with every day to get into work. You get a real sense of the frustration of the community if you sit in stationery traffic for half an hour. It gives you a real sense of how tough it is here.

“It’s simply not good enough. We have to fix this. 

“What’s frustrating is we signed off on the Northern Link, it should be starting this year, and we had committed to a road of national significance all the way through to Katikati.

“We did eight roads of national significance in the last term, and we did them on time and within budget,” Todd asserts. “And we had committed that this road was going to be another one.  But Labour has different priorities.  And they need to be held to account for that.

“It’s all very good to have nice rhetoric but actually people matter, communities matter, and safety matters, and we shouldn’t be having to put up with this every single day in Te Puna, Omokoroa, and Pahoia.”


Sorry regarding my earlier comment.....

Posted on 22-03-2018 20:21 | By Bruja

I meant Transport Minister not Housing Minister of course. The simple fact is that the previous government, yep, your lot Todd, have left such a massive mess across all sectors of society, I have been ’dealing to’ Housing letters as well. Plus I’m a slightly old tart so hey..... ;)

I give

Posted on 21-03-2018 19:00 | By Merlin

I give a Minster a time line to get here.What a sad comment from Todd does he think he is still in government and does he not read that the government are currently reviewing what is needed after their relatively short time in Government and are picking up the pieces left by the previous Government.You are making a fool of yourself Todd.

Paper Roads

Posted on 14-03-2018 09:55 | By wazzock

I too find it really frustrating sitting in stationery traffic. My Lexus Origami is no good in the wet, and I keep getting paper cuts when changing gear. Clearly we need much better solutions than these paper proposals.


Posted on 13-03-2018 19:47 | By Merlin

Easy to call out some one else who has only been there a few months hen we had the Minister of Transport a local MP for nine years who made no action on it.Sad and only political rhetoric here only by Todd Muller.Perhaps he should stop trying to score cheap political points and see what the outcome is from the new Government.

Stop blaming the roads!

Posted on 13-03-2018 13:51 | By triplediamond

Sure, State Highway 2 is a crowded road.However, the road does not cause crashes!The major problem in NZ is the number of people who should not hold a drivers licence. If everyone showed some patience and knew and obeyed our road rules the crash issue would be lessened.The issue with State Highways in NZ is that our local bodies, Transit NZ and Govt. are too slow to recognise when upgrading roads are planned and then actually upgraded.

What a load of cobblers.

Posted on 13-03-2018 13:50 | By local yokel

National had 9 years in Government to get this Northern access way sorted. They were told about all the accidents and fatalties happening on this road all the time. They were also told that the road could not carry the traffic it does which causes mega hold-ups now with both people wanting to travel on it or get on to it from side roads. Now they are trying to say its the fault of the Labour Government who have now inhertited the problem.

Eastern link

Posted on 13-03-2018 13:43 | By clingon

A beautiful piece of road Chooky...

Where has he been?

Posted on 13-03-2018 13:43 | By doff

National knew for at least 9 years that this road was a priority. They did absolutely nothing. Now the pot calls the kettle black. Convenient amnesia?


Posted on 13-03-2018 13:10 | By MichaelB

Todd, you and your lot sat and did nothing about it for 9 years!! You watched population grow and let infrastructure stagnate. You are a joke!

here we go again

Posted on 13-03-2018 11:54 | By happykiwi

9 year’s. I say again 9 year’s National were in power and now they complain about Labour.Simon was transport minister as well Todd so did you guys not discuss these issues over the last 9 years.this is just whining as far as I am concerned.

Read the article

Posted on 13-03-2018 10:51 | By triplediamond

Might pay to do your homework Chookymac!The National Govt had already signed off on the Northern arterial works which were to begin this year.

If only you could read Chookymac

Posted on 13-03-2018 10:43 | By If only

then you would know about the Eastern Link, the Cambridge bypass, Christchurch’s new highway and other ’roads of significance’ built within time and budget under last govt. As Todd states here the Northern link was committed to and the Omokoroa part of this was due to start this nothing !!

Induced demand

Posted on 13-03-2018 10:28 | By Concerned citizen

Wait a minute, Todd is opposition climate change spokesperson! I’ve asked him how, in his position as such a spokesperson, how he can advocate for ever increasing more roads requiring the continual removal of more and more carbon sinks to make it easier for more and more carbon emissions. No reply yet. When do we stop building more and more roads? It’s completely unsustainable in an ever growing population

Utterly despicable!

Posted on 13-03-2018 10:20 | By Bruja

It is utterly despicable for Todd Muller to be ’calling out’ Phil Twyford. Todd, your government AND YOU had NINE YEARS to act regarding this stretch of road and you’ve done NOTHING. If you’re so keen to take Phil for a drive to show him how bad it is it’s amazing to me that you didn’t take your National Housing Minister for that same drive. and then sort the issue as you seem to think it is very easily done. This road did not suddenly become so appalling in the very few months that have passed since the election. Frankly you need to stop being so childishly obstructive and work WITH the new Housing Minister instead of against him.This is NO TIME for partisan name-calling, not when people are being killed or severely injured on a regular basis and that’s quite apart from ridiculous traffic congestion.


Posted on 13-03-2018 09:35 | By Laurie

Talk a lot & have done nothing - talk about - "The Pot calling the Kettle Black" !!!

I call out

Posted on 13-03-2018 09:13 | By Merlin

I call out Todd and Simon for not attending to this when in a position to do so.Easy to say things now.Bit of a shame to rattle on about it now.


Posted on 13-03-2018 09:09 | By namxa

Oh come on mate, they put some extra lines on the road....and that new roundabout at Te Puna speeds things up

Nine Years!

Posted on 13-03-2018 08:40 | By backofthequeue

National had nine years to do something. During that period Tauranga MP Simon Bridges was the Minister of Transport and still they did nothing. Mr Muller is just following party policy of stirring for the sake of it. Talk about sore losers.

look and drive

Posted on 13-03-2018 08:26 | By hapukafin

Phil needs to sit and observe and then drive it to experience the drive.


Posted on 13-03-2018 08:09 | By Told you

This man Todd talks with forked tongue why was nothing done under his watch, he and NATIONAL had 9 years to do something absolutely zilch.

What a hypocrite

Posted on 13-03-2018 07:57 | By Bronzewing

The current leader of the National party was the Minister of Transport who did NOTHING about the road and now the local MP who used to be in power and did NOTHING is now grand standing. Obviously not a gram of integrity in that mans body

What planet are they on?

Posted on 13-03-2018 07:51 | By Chookymac

These National twits Todd and Simon.Simon Bridges had 9 years to do some thing and nothing was done at all,I reiterate AT ALL

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