Local MPs push to continue road upgrades

Posted at 5:15pm Wednesday 10 Jan, 2018 | By Ryan Wood

Hamilton East MP David Bennett and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges both want to see the Tauranga to Hamilton route from the foot of the Kaimai Range improved. Supplied photo and video.

Local National Party MPs are petitioning the government to carry on with extensive roading projects promised by National before the 2017 election.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller and Coromandel MP Scott Simpson have launched a campaign to ensure the Katikati to Tauranga four-lane Road of National Significance proceeds as planned.

“The previous National-led Government had committed to a large number of important regional highway projects right around New Zealand, including the delivery of not only the Tauranga Northern Link and the Katikati bypass, but also a full four-lane motorway from Tauranga to Katikati,” says Scott.

“These projects would greatly improve safety and travel times, better connect our regions and boost regional economic growth. However, the new Minister of Transport, Phil Twyford, has now indicated a number of these projects are under review.

“The by-pass of Katikati was warmly welcomed locally and this critical investment must go ahead with construction of the TNL beginning this year as planned. The road must also go all the way to Tauranga because that stretch of highway is currently one of the most dangerous in the country.”

Todd says he is particularly focused on ensuring the Omokoroa community is provided with a grade separated connection onto State Highway 2.

“This investment is critically important for Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty region and the government has wrongly thrown the project into uncertainty.”

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has also joined Hamilton East MP David Bennett in calling to extend the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to Tirau and from Cambridge to the Kaimai Range.

“Strengthening the link between the Bay of Plenty and Hamilton is fundamental to economic growth. Tauranga is New Zealand's main port and Hamilton provides many services such as health and education to the south Waikato,” says Simon.

“Getting rid of National's expressway extensions would put a dampener on the great growth we have seen in Tauranga, the wider Bay of Plenty, Hamilton, and wider Waikato.”

David says it would also mean longer, less reliable journey times and more deaths and serious injuries.

“No one has ever died on one of National's four lane highways given their safety features. The further improvements we were planning would save many lives.”

A spokesperson Transport Minister Phil Twyford says NZTA has advised that funding for road upgrades cannot be redirected into rail, so National's concerns are unfounded.

“The Mill Road Corridor upgrade is an Auckland Transport project and planning is continuing. The Labour-led Government has not altered any existing roading projects except Auckland's East-West link and officials are working to identify a lower-cost, better-value option.

“It important to note that the other ‘highway projects' referred to in National's petition do not exist. They were election campaign promises made by National in August and never costed or funded. To suggest the government isn't going ahead with projects that don't exist is misleading. And to suggest non-existing funding be diverted into rail is nonsensical.”

The National Party petitions can be found here and here.

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Sick of political messages

Posted on 11-01-2018 15:33 | By SML

by the National Party being disguised as "news". We have several other MPs (in both Hamilton AND Tauranga) who are just as interested in having a secure, safe highway between Tauranga and Hamilton - but where were THEY asked for opinions? This obvious political bias is quite shocking, and should NOT be presented as "news" without other interested political parties being part of the "new item" . Very bad form, BOP Times, and this very obvious bias is a possible breach of political publication rules, too.


Posted on 11-01-2018 10:33 | By Told you

With the expansion of The Lakes I would have thought priority should be the access from 15th Ave to the Tauriko bypass this would stop a lot of congestion at Barkes Cnr. I am sure this was a mistake by the original planners, if not 15th how about 17th Ave?

Not surprising

Posted on 11-01-2018 08:39 | By penguin

Just another lucky weak dip statement to remind us that these politicians are still here. Boring!


Posted on 10-01-2018 22:01 | By Capt_Kaveman

to the Waitakto

here we go again

Posted on 10-01-2018 21:05 | By old trucker

Golly gosh Simple you never did anything when you were in ,now you are trying again, your time is over, this is just another photo op.,all this free travel and stuff, i suppose it fills the day in talking a lot of rubbish and doing nothing, you WONT make it happen as you have promised things before, (like) 10 new bridges up north, if we did not give all this money away to you know who we would be alright, but you say the road is most dangerous ,WHY THEN when you were in charge did you not build it, its all smoke and mirrors, go back to doing what you do best NOTHING, my thoughts only on this subject. Sunlive all the best for another year,Thankyou, 10-4 out, phew,

Get over it

Posted on 10-01-2018 20:00 | By A Thought

You lost and their priorities are about lifting the people you neglected by underfunding Health,Homelessness,Housing(No crisis) until it became an election issues.This more scaremongering or do they have inside information on where the Government is going(LOL). Must be some photo op withdrawals over the xmas new year period.Talking about promises that were not included in their program is totally misleading.We need a fact checker on this stuff.

Election is over

Posted on 10-01-2018 18:00 | By waiknot

Is there any suggestions that the roads are not going to be completed? Or is this just more opportunity to keep in the headlines.

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