Consultants that criticised motorway now planning it

Sunday 29 July 2012, 7:20PM
By Green Party


The same consultants who suggested the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway made little economic sense in 2008 are now investigating building the $1.65 billion dollar white elephant, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Ann Genter said today.

A report obtained by the Green Party, and authored by transport consultants Sinclair Knight Merz, in 2008, showed traffic flows between Puhoi to Wellsford peaked on weekends and suggested the best way forward was through a public transport option.  These same consultants have now been hired at a cost of more than $12 Million dollars to investigate building the more than $1.6 billion dollar highway.

“Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee seems intent on wasting billions of dollars on motorways that make little economic sense,” said Ms Genter.

“So far around $16 million dollars has been spent on investigating Puhoi to Wellsford.

“There is still another $44 million dollars earmarked for the investigation phase,” said Ms Genter.

“The Government’s motor-way programme is now reliant on consultants who have a vested interest in the motorways proceeding.

“This is despite the fact that a few years ago these same consultants were providing the then Government with reports highlighting the poor cost benefit ratios of the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway.

“The Government needs to reprioritise its wasteful spending towards future-proofing New Zealand’s transport network,” Ms Genter said.