Transport Minister Phil Twyford has thrown the future of more important regional roads into turmoil – all to finance a tram through the Prime Minister’s electorate, National Party Transport Spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“A growing number of vital roading projects right around the country are facing the axe, with Mr Twyford failing to commit to essential new roading projects, under further questioning in Parliament today.

“Yesterday he told the House that ‘all projects are under consideration’. This included the Redoubt Rd to Mill Rd corridor, the extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to the Kaimai Range and the Christchurch to Ashburton road project.

“Today he refused to commit to the futures of the Otaki to north of Levin expressway, the extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to Tirau and the four laneing of the Napier to Hastings expressway.

“The single project Mr Twyford has been able to confirm in the past two days is the Manawatu Gorge alternative route but he’s leaving the rest of regional New Zealand in limbo.

“These projects were all well-signalled and needed, with work well underway and regions gearing up around them.

“These projects will promote growth, provide jobs and ensure better and safer transport connections for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders.

“They will also allow our regions to grow and support the building of much needed housing, but the Transport Minister is undermining confidence by imperilling their futures.

“This is a Government that claimed to stand behind regional New Zealand but it is regional New Zealand that is missing out. It deserves better than this from a Government which is putting politics ahead of progress.”

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