INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bishop Launches New Melling Campaign And Petition

Published: Tue 11 May 2021 10:57 AM
National List MP based in Hutt South Chris Bishop has today launched a new campaign calling on the Government to commit to the Melling Interchange project in the Hutt Valley.
“It’s unbelievable we have to do this all over again after the last campaign in 2019, but the Government obviously needs to get the clear message from the Hutt Valley community that they need to commit to a new Melling interchange,” Mr Bishop says.
“Transport Minister Michael Wood still won’t commit to delivering Melling. Construction on Melling was due to start in 2022 with funding of $258 million, but it has been reported that the Government is considering the ‘scope, cost and schedule’ of its 2020 commitments, putting Melling at risk.
“Labour MPs spent most of 2020 displaying billboards around the Hutt saying Melling was ‘fully-funded’, which now looks like a cynical election-year publicity stunt.
“There is huge community concern that Melling is yet again at risk and people can voice their displeasure by signing my petition and emailing Transport Minister Michael Wood.
“Strong community opposition forced the Labour Government to back track on its decision to delay Melling to 2028 or later, but this has been put at risk by the Government’s re-scoping of its 2020 commitments.
“The Government must commit to at least $258 million to deliver the project and a 2022 start date. Anything else will be seen as a broken promise.
“A new Melling interchange is critical for the Hutt Valley – it will reduce congestion, increase safety, improve flood protection, and make walking, cycling and taking the train easier.
“It is my top priority as a National List MP based in Hutt South and I will not rest until the Government properly commits to the project once more.”
Notes to editors: You can sign the petition here.

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