Heather du Plessis-Allan: Pig-headed Govt slowing the country down

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Nov 2019, 3:39PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Pig-headed Govt slowing the country down

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Nov 2019, 3:39PM

My boss came back to Auckland this week after spending the weekend in wellington. His observation of the city: Wellington needs that second Mt Vic tunnel.

That’s how obvious it is to everyone, and yet the government’s still refusing to build it.

Isn’t it like this everywhere in the country now? Take a look around your neck of the woods.

Top of the south island, locals are fighting tooth and nail to stop the NZTA dropping the speed limit between Blenheim and Nelson down to 80 km an hour.

Horowhenua, there’s now a petition begging the government to build the promised four lanes between Otaki and Levin.

Auckland, business begging for the Government to get on with building the East-West link crucial for moving freight.

Thames, the Far North,  Canterbury, everywhere in this country, we are now begging the Government and its officials to build the roads. Build them with enough capacity for the future, and abandon this ideological obsession with slowing everyone down.

So, back to Wellington, the reason we’ve been keeping an eye on that Mt Vic tunnel on this show is because its’ like a test case.

If Wellington residents win and get the tunnel, then the rest of the country has a chance. If they lose and the government remains pig-headed, then it’ll remain pig headed with everyone.

Both the mayor Andy Foster and the chair of the regional council Daran Ponter met with Transport Minister Phil Twyford this morning, and at this stage it still looks like Twyford’s being pigheaded. He probably thinks he has the ability to ride this one out because most of wellington city’s councillors and regional councillors seem happy enough to go along with Twyford’s plan, which is to delay that tunnel for a decade. 

Well, let’s just remind all those councillors and the Transport Minister of what happened to Justin Lester. He was the Wellington Mayor to lose after one term in 33 years, and I reckon the biggest reason he lost his job is because he was happy enough to back Twyford and delay that tunnel. 

So to those councillors and Twyford, you can sit on the fence if you want, you can drag your heels if you want, you can slow this country down, but just like my boss saw how badly Wellington needs that tunnel, we can all see how badly this country needs roading infrastructure.

And when it’s that obvious, it’s a vote loser to do nothing about it.

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