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It is unacceptable for the current Minister of Transport Phil Tyford to attempt to dodge responsibility for the future of the Tauranga Northern Link, one of New Zealand’s most dangerous roads, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.

“The previous National Government saw this road funded with a procurement process nearing completion and the construction was planned for this year.

“In April 2016, then Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced a $250 million package for the area including $250 million to build the new Tauranga Northern Link road; $85 million to invest in safety improvements for the current road and $150 million to provide for future traffic growth.

“Today NZTA has placed this pre-existing project under re-evaluation because of the change in priorities this Government has introduced to State Highway funding.

“It is simply disingenuous for the Minister to claim no work had been done, when it was funded and underway until this Government took office.

“The decision was made by Mr Twyford and his Government to slash funding for state highways. This has caused NZTA to hald projects that, according to NZTA’s own advice, would cut serious injuries and deaths on this road by 50 per cent.

“Mr Twyford simply isn’t being straight with New Zealander’s when it comes to this dangerous stretch of road.”

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