PPP for Holiday Highway will double cost to taxpayer

The use of private sector finance to build the Pūhoi-Warkworth motorway will make an already uneconomic project more expensive, the Green Party said today.

The National Government today announced it was putting the financing and construction of the Pūhoi-Warkworth motorway out to tender as a public-private partnership (PPP).

“Building the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway sooner doesn't stop it being an unwise use of money,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“Borrowing from the private sector to finance the earlier construction of the Holiday Highway will cost the taxpayer more in the long run.

“There is no such thing as free money.

“The Government can borrow funds more cheaply than the private sector. The only advantage of using a PPP for the Holiday Highway is that it will free up money for the Government to invest in other, low value motorways.

“PPPs are supposedly about getting value for money but, in the case of Transmission Gully, they have become cash cows for wealthy financiers, lawyers, and foreign companies.

“The net present cost of building Transmission Gully is $850 million however, under National’s PPP, it will cost the taxpayer $125 million per year for the next 25 years, so the total cost will be over $3.1 billion.

“The opportunity cost of all this additional expensive borrowing for motorways is that critical infrastructure like the City Rail Link in Auckland will not be built anytime soon,” Ms Genter said.