7 November 2003
Transit Plays Confidence Trick On Tauranga
Tauranga’s MP and New Zealand First leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has dismissed Transit’s designation of the arterial
roads around the proposed duplicate harbour bridge as ‘state highway’ as meaningless and little more than a confidence
“By designating the lead-in roads without similar treatment for the bridge the roading authority is at best creating
more roads to nowhere and at worst is fobbing off the people of Tauranga with an apparently positive statement that will
not see the bridge built without local tolls, and will probably mean the Takitimu Drive and other developments will be
left languishing at the bottom of their priority list,” Mr. Peters said.
“The whole thing smacks of politicking especially as the Transit Board when recently asked, under the Official
Information Act, why they had not designated the entire route as ‘state highway’ as recommended by their management
‘conveniently’ had no records of any discussion.
“Now they have come up with a half-baked ruling that while the approach roads will be designated ‘state highway’ the
vital core of the transport strategy – the bridge – will not be. This is even stranger when one considers that the cost
benefit ratio for the bridge is considerably above the required level.
“There is no way that the citizens and businesses of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty should be faced with tolling for a
highway of such strategic importance in the service of the country’s major port. Transit needs to immediately review its
off the wall decision and treat the bridge and its approaches as one entity and list MPs Wilson and Baldock need to do
something to justify their places in parliament,” Mr. Peters said.