Government ‘heartless’ over highway home

Published: Thu 13 Sep 2012 03:58 PM
Transport Spokesperson
13 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government ‘heartless’ over highway home
The Government has been called “heartless” by Labour after dismissing as an operational matter the Transport Agency’s refusal to negotiate the purchase of a home to be bulldozed to make way for the Holiday Highway.
Moirs Hill couple Bob and Jill Scott say their property is unsalable because the route for the Puhoi-Wellsford Road of National Significance runs through the middle of their house, while the New Zealand Transport Agency says it has no money to purchase the property.
“The Government has spent $14.9 million on consultants for the holiday highway, $1.6 million on public relations, and they have $33 million budgeted for the next three years, but they can’t find the decency to sit down with the Scotts and negotiate fair compensation, even though the planned route goes right through their house,” Labour’s transport spokesperson Phil Twyford said .
“To dismiss this concern as an operational matter, as the Transport Minister did in the House today, is heartless.”
“National is spending money on its motorway projects like there is no tomorrow but they can’t find the funds to purchase the home of a couple whose dream home is to be bulldozed. Something is very wrong with their priorities.
“How many other property owners are similarly affected?
“The Government should acknowledge to the taxpayer that the country cannot afford to spend $1.7 billion on a motorway that doesn’t stack up.
“It would be far better to spend $400 million fixing the accident black spots on the State Highway 1, and stop putting innocent landowners like the Scotts through this unnecessary trauma,” said Phil Twyford.

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