Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Culture of cavalier governance must end


“Finally revealed evidence that the Government forged ahead with plans for a multi-billion dollar light rail project in Auckland without even doing a cursory cost benefit analysis should be of huge concern to taxpayers,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“We have a huge deficit of infrastructure in this country, but the Government’s promised billions for projects must provide value for money.

“Only ACT has a plan to ensure all parts of the economy – central and local government and the private sector – are linked up to deliver that, in the form of Build Like the Boomers, ACT’s housing and infrastructure strategy.

“In the meantime, the sort of cavalier governance we’ve seen with light rail simply can’t continue. Not following proper processes can have a huge impact.

“One example is the three years of time and millions of dollars the Government has wasted making Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Watercare investigate a wide range of impacts on their networks without having a business case to refer to.

“This distraction may have delayed other infrastructure projects while burning up scarce funds to chase a poorly thought through campaign promise.

“Given the debt position we face post-Covid-19 the Government must improve cost benefit analysis of all the investment options it is evaluating on taxpayers’ behalf.

“That’s the sort of care New Zealanders expect the Government to take spending the money they provide it by paying their taxes.

“New Zealand faces an infrastructure deficit after decades of neglect. We have traffic congestion, sewerage on beaches, and a dire shortage of homes.

“Both old political parties have entered an auction to spend the most taxpayer money on the problem, but no amount of spending will be effective without a rigorous process to ensure value for money.”