Increased infrastructure spending must focus on the best ways to fix the housing and transport problems in Auckland, not just a few more expensive and ineffective highways, the Green Party said today.
“The most serious infrastructure problems Auckland faces are in transport and housing, and National has spent the last nine years showing that they have no idea how to fix either of them,” Green Party Auckland Issues spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.
“The full trains and overflowing buses every day in Auckland have shown that people want to use public transport, and the government should support that instead of thumbing their noses and pouring more money into roads that clog up immediately.
“Steven Joyce’s promise on infrastructure rings hollow when the National Government has recently said we have to wait 30 years for airport rail, and possibly longer for rail to the North Shore.
“Aucklanders urgently need quality, affordable housing close to where people work and socialise, along major transport routes served by fast and clean public transport.
“How much of Steven Joyce’s supposed new transport infrastructure spending will go towards high capacity, efficient rail, and how much will be for roads?
“We will be playing catch up on public transport for decades because of National’s inaction the past nine years. For example, the Northwestern busway should have been built as part of the Western Ring Route.
“Meanwhile, National is scrapping Kiwirail’s electric locomotives on the main trunk line, making New Zealand the only country in the world that’s getting rid of electric trains and replacing them with dirty diesels,” Ms Genter said.