INDEPENDENT NEWS

Not A Very Strategic Strategy At All

Published: Tue 3 Dec 2002 05:37 PM
Not A Very Strategic Strategy At All
The Transport Strategy and its legislation are a dream come true for bureaucrats and eco-fundamentalists, ACT Transport Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.
"This `strategy' is a politically correct manifesto that states how the Government intends to socially engineer the way New Zealanders get around. Not only that, it is a blatantly political document that opens the way for pork barrel politics of a nature not seen in our country for decades.
"The plan brings together a mess of tired ideas that Labour and the Greens have been peddling for years: hike the price of driving, mandate `consultation' with iwi every five minutes, pump money into ferrying empty buses and trains around the country, and introduce a flawed, extremely expensive and showy PR campaign to make people feel guilty about driving their own cars. Add in ludicrous long-term plans to reduce the "negative" impacts of our cars "on land, air, water, communities and ecosystems", and the Labour `strategy' is Green-fuelled nonsense. In fact, this retrograde plan is going to choke our transport arteries further. Where's the strategy?
"The Labour Government's take on public-private partnership seems to be to get businesses into a headlock and not let them go. Seriously, what business will want to get involved? Reducing red tape and increasing real incentives for private enterprises involved with the transport industry would do far more than this complicated `partnership' model. What long-term guarantee do we have that tolls from privately built roads will not go straight into the Consolidated Fund? And what future is there in these partnerships when the Government's relationship with United Future sours, and Labour is again dependent on the Greens?
"If the Government were serious about getting New Zealand moving, it would reduce the bureaucracy and `consultation' required at every single step of road-building.
"This legislation provides little hope for Aucklanders stuck on the motorway tonight," Miss Coddington said.

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