Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller is slamming the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport as ‘out of touch with regional New Zealand'.
“The Government's priorities are so far out of step with what every day New Zealander's expect that you have to wonder what planet they live on,” says Todd.
“First they tell us they are going to be pouring $4 Billion into trams and trains for Auckland, and then in the same breath say funding allocated for state highways, like the stretch between Katikati and Tauranga, will be cut by 11 per cent.
“They expect the Bay to pay more and receive less? Let's see how that goes down in our communities like Omokoroa and Te Puna where they are screaming out for vital upgrades for a road that has seen over 619 accidents since 2010.”
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is always quick to talk in billions, says Todd.
“Today I want to talk about the $5 Billion the Labour/Greens/New Zealand First Government will be cutting out of the State Highway construction programme over the next decade.
“If anything this shows that New Zealand First's claim to be the party of the regions is an absolute farce – they are just another cog in the Labour/Greens machine.”
Todd says the Tauranga Northern Link tendering process for a road due to commence construction this year, is now on ice.
“Now I understand why the Minister of Transport Phil Twyford refuses to come and drive SH2 with me – because he doesn't have it in him to look the community in the eye and say ‘we aren't building your road'.
“They say there will be safety improvements, and anything that makes our roads safer is welcome, but we all know this will just be tinkering at the edges. Let's do it once, and do it right. Let's get on with it and get the TNL built.”