Hon Maurice Williamson National Party Transport Spokesman
9 December 2005
Stop the carnage on SH2 - hand over petrol tax
Transit's announcement that construction of the 7.2km Mangatawhiri bypass - one of the country's deadliest stretches of
highway - has been delayed by at least six months is an absolute disgrace, says National's Transport spokesman, Maurice
"Lack of money can never be a credible reason when the Government is siphoning off more than $600 million a year of
petrol excise tax paid by motorists," says Mr Williamson.
"The motoring public have long believed this revenue should go to building roads, and National agrees with them."
Mr Williamson says the Mangatawhiri bypass is just a small part of the 35km section of State Highway 2 between Pokeno
and the turnoff to Thames that desperately needs attention.
"An unacceptable level of carnage means this road needs to be built now. There have been 40 fatalities in the past five
years on this stretch of road, but instead of the Government being shamed into urgent action, we get yet another delay.
"Transit can obfuscate all it wants about 'the contracts being too expensive' and how they're 'going to look to cut
costs', but New Zealanders don't want a cut-down, Third World roading alternative and should not have to accept one.
"The Government could fix this matter with the stroke of a pen. Transport Minister David Parker must tell Michael Cullen
that this can't wait. Hand over the petrol tax," says Mr Williamson.