“Documents dumped on Christmas Eve, show the Government will now spend up $150 million to get a bus or ferry instead of a bike bridge, three times the original cost,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“Previously, the business case for a ferry was $58 million. Now, the Government is allowing $150 million to wind up the failed bridge project and replace it with a bus or ferry.

“Last year Transport Minister Michael Wood said the bridge would cost $51 million with the final cost still to come in - that cost turns out is three times more expensive.

“If the ferry costs $58 million, winding up the bridge cost $51 million, that’s $109 million. Cabinet just signed off $150 million to cover it. What’s a casual extra $41 million between friends?

"Grant Roberston needs to explain, does he really think a bus or ferry is going to cost an extra $41 million, or is that sort of money just chump change to throw in just in case?

“This Government has no idea how hard New Zealand taxpayers work for their money, probably because the Government’s just been getting it printed lately.

“In typical fashion the “most open and transparent government ever” quietly put this information on its website on Christmas Eve, hoping it would fly under the radar- but there’s no way taxpayers will allow this to be water under the bridge.

“ACT revealed in June last year that the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of the cycle bridge was estimated at 0.4-0.6.

“If a project's BCR is less than 1.0, the project's costs outweigh the benefits, and it should not be considered.

“Thankfully the Government came to that conclusion but it was already so far down the track with designs, consultants, engineers and contracts that taxpayers are now footing a huge bill for the one of the dumbest ideas Labour has ever had - and that’s saying something.

“Jacinda Ardern and Michael Wood should apologise to New Zealanders. Kiwis work hard to pay taxes and they expect wise decisions to be made - just like they have to do with their household budgets.

“Inflation is at 4.9 per cent. The cost of groceries, petrol and almost everything is up. It’s no wonder when the Government pumps $150 million into the economy that doesn’t contribute to anything.

“ACT is calling on the Government to be careful with taxpayers money. New Zealanders deserve better than this sort of wasteful and irresponsible spending.”

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