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National has an open mind about shifting Auckland’s port activity long-term but is sceptical about the process underpinning a recently-released report on the idea, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“This looks like a political play by Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones to succeed in the north, and the worry is that this process is heading towards a pre-determined outcome.

“These decisions need to be based on sound economic analysis of what is best for the economic future of the upper North Island, not what best suits NZ First’s needs.

“There should be a proper process in place for these decisions to be made through the new Infrastructure Commission.

“I also wonder if the left hand is talking to the right hand. If you’re going to divert shipping, freight and logistics to Northland then a four-lane motorway between Whangarei and Auckland will be needed to unlock Northland’s economic potential.

“But the Government won’t do this because of Transport Minister Phil Twyford’s aversion to road building and his determination to throw billions at a slow tram down Dominion Rd.

“Decisions of this scale shouldn’t be made during the two weeks of a coalition negotiation. New Zealand’s infrastructure should be geared toward economic growth and free from political meddling, as it would be under a National Government.”

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