Will refusal to build roads cost Labour the election?

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sunday, 14 July 2019, 4:24PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Will the refusal to build 12 major roading projects send the Coalition lose the 2020 election?

The Business Advisory Council, chaired by Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon, last week presented a damning indictment of New Zealand's infrastructure regime saying there is "no overarching vision or leadership in New Zealand for infrastructure development".

"This means there is no nation-building narrative upon which to build a strategic direction," it says.

They want the Government to proceed with 12 roading projects that are on hold or under review, and open them to private investment, saying that public sector does not have the funding mechanisms to properly run these projects. 

However, while Transport Minister Phil Twyford dismissed the report when he appeared on Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive later that day.

du Plessis-Allan in turn wrote an opinion piece disparaging the response.  "When Phil Twyford out-of-hand dismissed the advice to resurrect 12 crucial highways, the texts and emails flooded in to me on the radio. Business lobbyists and roading advocates asked for a chance to respond. All wanted to make a case for why we need those roads."

She says that "refusing to build these roads is an election loser".

"It might not lose the entire country, but it can lose electorates for sure. Labour's dying to steal Hutt South from National's Chris Bishop. Good luck to them given how angry Hutt South voters are about the Melling Interchange being put on ice."

du Plessis-Allan joined The Weekend Collective to discuss the piece and what can be done about public transport. 

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