Chris Hipkins driving with the handbrake on

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ admission that he agrees with National’s policies on speed limits, but claims he can’t to do anything about them, shows how ineffective the Labour Government is, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“It was Labour that put in place the policy requiring NZTA and road controlling authorities to reduce speed limits all over the country, but now Chris Hipkins is saying he doesn’t agree with these decisions, but also can’t do anything about them,” Mr Brown says.

“Chris Hipkins is like someone driving with the handbrake up without realising, and he’s forcing Kiwis to slow down with him. Labour had no understanding of the economic impact of these changes when it made them and now it doesn’t know how to fix them.

“Labour cannot claim to have any economic credibility when such a productivity-killing policy was introduced with little thought for how it would affect businesses and hardworking commuters. And it doesn’t even have the gumption to repeal its own rule.

“This approach to road safety isn’t working and is only serving to slow New Zealand down at a time when we need to improve our productivity and boost our economic growth.

“The only reason that could explain Mr Hipkins’ other misguided belief that he has already reversed the speed limit increases is ignorance of his own policy. Earlier in the campaign Labour claimed National was cutting a public transport subsidy that doesn’t exist and just last week Mr Hipkins claimed to have received positive feedback about a fizzy drink ban that also doesn’t exist.

“National will fix what Chris Hipkins doesn’t have the initiative to when it comes to speed limits.

National will:

  • Change the rules for setting speed limits with the expectation of reversing Labour’s blanket speed restrictions on highways and local roads, except where it would be unsafe to do so.
  • Increase speed limits to 110km/h on the Kapiti Expressway and Transmission Gully, and on the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway if a current review finds that would be safe.
  • Require contractors to minimise the use of temporary speed limit reductions at road maintenance sites at times when workers are off-site and risks to motorists are mitigated.
  • Require reduced variable speed limits around schools during pick up and drop off times.