With the Government heading to Waitangi and Northern Mayors calling for answers, the Transport Minister needs to confirm whether or not this Government is committed to four-lanes from Auckland to Whangarei, National’s Transport spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“Transport Minister Phil Twyford continues to obfuscate and fudge but the message is clear – this Government intends to build fewer roads, and to spend more on rail in Auckland.

“Motorists right around the country who pay to register their cars, for fuel taxes and road user charges will be paying for the Government to build a tram line between the Auckland CBD and Mt Albert – and not for new and better roads that grow regional economies, improve our transport links and ensure our transport network is safer.

“The previous Government recognised the importance of better transport links between Northland and Auckland. The four-laned highway between Puhoi and Warkworth is already underway and we had pledged to continue that through to Whangarei.

“This Government however is refusing to say whether or not it will continue with that pledge – and it looks like it won’t.

“This road would make the trip safer, encourage more tourists and visitors to travel north and would better connect the farmers and growers with the country’s largest centre. It would have a huge economic and social benefit and that’s why Northland’s mayors are calling on the Government to make it happen, and why the previous Government committed to it.

“Northland needs a better connection to New Zealand’s largest city and the main gateway to New Zealand for international visitors – this road would have ensured that but this Government doesn’t consider it a priority.

“While it spends the next five days in Waitangi talking about partnership the Government needs to show some intent and assure Northlanders that it will continue the previous Government’s investment in the transport infrastructure it deserves, or explain why it won’t.”

The National Party’s petition to save the Auckland to Whangarei highway can be found here.

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