National’s motorway bribes won’t help Northland

Bringing forward the start date on the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway will not help Northland or the rest of country that will have to pay for it, the Green Party said today.

National’s Northland candidate Mark Osborne announced the Government’s intention to start construction on the low value Puhoi to Warkworth motorway project next year in a bid to influence the outcome of the Northland by-election.

“Building the Puhoi motorway sooner doesn't stop it being a waste of money,” says Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“National’s announcement is yet another cynical spend-up of taxpayer money in an attempt to win the Northland ‘buy’-election.

“The Puhoi motorway does nothing to improve Northland's roads or reduce the cost of transporting people and goods.

“The Puhoi project is within the Auckland region and will only encourage more long distance commuting by car, worsening congestion.

“There are far more pressing priorities that will improve road safety and make a real difference to Northland – like urgent maintenance and safety upgrades to SH1 north of Puhoi, improvements to Northland's unsealed regional roads, and the Marsden Point rail link.

“National are mismanaging the transport budget by cherry picking projects for political reasons, rather than taking an objective approach to what makes the most economic sense. By-election candidates are now announcing major transport projects on the fly in a desperate attempt to win votes.

“The Government should aim for best value for money from the transport budget, not projects to stay in power,” Ms Genter said.