Labour’s transport plan doesn’t prioritise economic growth

The Government has missed an opportunity to grow the New Zealand economy to help us bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic in its National Land Transport Plan, National’s Transport spokesperson David Bennett says.

“As the world rebounds from the Covid-19 pandemic over the next few years other countries will make bold investments in transport infrastructure that are based on connectivity and spurring economic growth.

“The 2021-2024 NLTP could have been used for similar initiatives but instead is dominated by projects from a Government that is politically biased towards public transport and has shied away from new projects that would empower our economy.

“The problem is this Government loves to make big announcements and promises, but historically failed to deliver them.

“It’s been four years since we were promised light rail in Auckland, and we’ve yet to see a detailed business case and a decision on the form of the project. Under this plan light rail will still only be in the planning and design stage in the next three years.

“New Zealand needs to target infrastructure spending to developing economic growth so we can pay back our huge debt. Transport spending that empowers growth and an effective state highway programme is the best way of achieving this goal, and the Government has missed this opportunity.

“Public transport is great within inner cities, but we need to sure up critical supply lines and this is predominantly on our roads, it’s important that we use emergency Covid-related funds in the right way.

“Labour can’t manage New Zealand’s transport priorities. There hasn’t been a single major transport project that has been planned and started under this Government. Meanwhile, major projects are continually on-again, and off-again.

“The Government has taken an ideological approach focusing on public transport and walking and cycling. It has failed to use these valuable funds to grow the economy.”