INDEPENDENT NEWS

Public Transport Costs To Double As National Looks At Unaffordable Roading Project Instead

Published: Mon 15 Apr 2024 03:41 PM
Cancelling urgently needed new Cook Strait ferries and hiking the cost of public transport for many Kiwis so that National can announce the prospect of another tunnel for Wellington is not making good choices, Labour Transport Spokesperson Tangi Utikere said.
“Nicola Willis and Simeon Brown keep telling people there is no money for ferries or public transport, and yet they seem to have no problem exploring another tunnel under Wellington,” Tangi Utikere said.
“National is cutting half-price public transport for under 25s and cancelling free travel for under 13s at the end of this month, which will hit people’s back pocket right in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
“The Cook Straight ferries have been canned, despite the urgent need for replacements to secure the future of our vital North-South Island link for passengers and freight.
“National has repealed plans to help councils dig up old and faulty pipes and fix their water infrastructure, despite huge ongoing infrastructure issues in Wellington and around the country.
“And they’re ignoring the need for better transport corridors above ground so that people can live further out, and more houses can be built to reduce costs of rent and travel in the capital.
“Yet there’s enough money for a business case on another tunnel, which was ruled out under Let’s Get Wellington Moving for the cost being “eye watering”. The government also have promised Wellingtonians construction will start on a second Mt Victoria tunnel before the next election.
“This announcement is a diversion from the important investments that need to be made today, by a Government that desperately wants to look like it is investing in tomorrow. National already has big holes in its Budget, so they’re now looking to add costs for future Governments instead of dealing with the infrastructure needs of today.
“It is irresponsible. If National was truly focused on improving productivity, helping people get around and transporting freight, they would not be making these decisions,” said Tangi Utikere.

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