Government slams National for trying to garner support for 'non-existent' roading projects it campaigned on before the election

The National Party has kicked off 2018 with a campaign to get people to sign petitions calling for the new Government to commit to a swathe of roading projects.

Its Transport Spokesperson Judith Collins says: “The National Government committed to a large number of important regional highway projects right around New Zealand as the next stage in the successful Roads of National Significance programme to build a modern highway network…

“But Transport Minister Phil Twyford now says a number of these projects are under review. That’s not good enough – our regional communities deserve them and the National Party is committed to fighting for them.

“To ensure the voice of each region is heard the National Party is launching a series of petitions so the public can show the Government how important the projects are.”

However Twyford says seven of the nine projects National’s trying to muster support around simply do not exist, as they were un-costed and unfunded election promises.

“To suggest the Government isn’t going ahead with projects that don’t exist is misleading,” he says.

These projects include:

  • The extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to the foot of the Kaimai Range, and from Cambridge to Tirau
  • The continuous four lane extension of the Northern Motorway from Warkworth to Whangarei
  • The Tauranga to Katikati Road project as a continuous four lane State Highway with wide lanes and safety measures
  • The four laning of the Napier to Hastings Expressway
  • The Otaki to north of Levin expressway road project
  • The Christchurch Northern Motorway between Belfast and Pegasus
  • The construction of the four-lane State Highway 1 link between Christchurch and Ashburton

Twyford concedes the Government has scrapped a legitimate project that National is campaigning for - the East West Link Road project between the Onehunga-Penrose industrial area and State Highways 1 and 20.

Yet he says this was the only existing roading project the Labour-Government has altered, noting “officials are working to identify a lower-cost, better-value option”.

Further to National calling for the construction of the Redoubt-Mill Road corridor from Manukau and Flat Bush to Papakura and Drury, Twyford says: “The Mill Road Corridor upgrade is an Auckland Transport project and planning is continuing.”

Finally, in response to Collins’ criticism that the Government is attempting to “divert billions of dollars to pet light rail projects”, Twyford says: “The Transport Agency has advised that funding for road upgrades cannot be redirected into rail, so National’s concerns are unfounded.”

Collins says the National MPs responsible for the regions in which the roading projects in contention lie, will present their petitions to the Government later this year.

The MPs have already started firing through a string of press releases, putting forward their (un-costed) arguments in favour of the roads.

The issue was debated in the Parliament last month, as per the video above.

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Where are the 10 Northland bridges?
They gotta be a real priority after the noise that the Nats made at the time.
How long ago was that?
Remind me, I have forgotten.


They have to cry about something, just to show that they still exist

Will the highway from Cambridge to southern edge of bonbays proceed?

Waikato expressway? Yes.

the Waikato expressway is just about finished only huntly and Hamilton sections that are in work to be completed,
they are talking about the extensions from Cambridge both down south and over towards BOP, both completely new projects that are not budgeted for yet and are only in long term planning.
makes you wonder if certain national donors are putting pressure on the party for new work


Correct headline: National starts the year with an email-harvesting scheme.

MPs shouldn’t be picking road projects anyway, the NZTA should be the experts in determining which roads have the biggest economic or safety impacts.
It would be like MPs choosing to fund miricle unproven medicines at the expense of proven ones.


Hope the National Party will have petitions about upping DHBs funding next month, perhaps.
They will need a new song sheet, one that doesn't highlight what they talk about for 9 years and never did. Absurd.

So much for a strong National opposition. And what happened to Simon Bridges?


After 9 years of failing nz, they want to continue that trend in opposition

Perhaps Collins has been swatting up on Rob Muldoon who was, let’s face it, probably the most destructive opposition leader NZ has ever seen. But not one MP in Nationals present ivory tower would exist in the same room as him. Despite all his many failings though, Muldoon did at least appreciate and have concern for the ordinary everyday folk of NZ. This National lot had none of that capacity or consideration while in government, and hard to see that changing while in opposition. Big Business, Big Brother, Corporate NZ, that’s Nationals blueprint.

Bridges will be out of the lime light in order to build his mystique.

The last question and answer confirms the reason for the terrible state of regional roads not on National's pork barrel list. Less funding.

I think the coromandel highway deserves more attention at this point

I believe Coromandel deserves the same as Kaikoura. This road is the life blood of the people living on the peninsula.

Wouldn't mind SH1 southbound on the North shore to be bigger. Shot themselves in the foot with that one.

Phil should ask National for details of their prioritization methodology so it can be debated in Parliament

The new government is right on the money cancelling the East West Link Road project, if it was built as planned it would have been the most expensive road ever built.
It would have been completely pathetic, and shows just how unconcerned the National government was about how much debt they racked up in our names.