INDEPENDENT NEWS

Regional NZ Tired of Being Cinderella to Auckland

Published: Sun 6 Nov 2016 09:46 PM
Regional NZ Tired of Being Cinderella to Auckland
New Zealand First wants to put provincial New Zealand on an equal footing with the big cities.
“We will restore the equality, especially when it comes to transport spending,” New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters told a public meeting in Napier today.
“Labour and National, the ‘Coke and Pepsi’ of politics, are outdoing themselves with how many billions of dollars they can throw on Auckland.
“While New Zealand First backs better transport it must be for all New Zealanders.
“New Zealand First insists that for every dollar spent on major new transport projects in cities like Auckland, a comparative spend must be made on projects in provincial New Zealand.
“Regional New Zealand is tired of being the Cinderella when it comes to broadband, mobile phone coverage, roads, rail and even access to banking services.
“Take the $1 million a metre that Auckland’s Cross Rail Tunnel is now expected to cost, and they haven’t even begun to dig it. The taxpayer is footing $500,000 of the $1m per metre.
“That wouldn’t be an issue if Northland’s Victorian rail tracks and bridges were upgraded to take trucks off SH1 with a spur put into Northport. Nor would it be if the Gisborne-Wairoa rail line was reinstated because both would cost less than a few hundred metres of that tunnel.
“Labour is promising to fast track the Mt Roskill Light Rail at over $107,000 a metre. That means that taxpayers from Gore, Hawke’s Bay, and all the way to Kaitaia will be expected to pay for half of it.
“These big city free spending politicians forget where the wealth of this country comes from. Our top three primary exports are worth more than every ‘service export’ combined. Even that forgets that tourists come to experience provincial New Zealand and not the cities.
“That is why New Zealand First will ensure transport in the regions gets the same priority with cities, and comparative spending on major new projects,” says Mr Peters.
ENDS

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