“The New Zealand Transport Agency should stop wasting taxpayers’ money trying to create their own bargain bin Google Maps and worry about fixing roads instead,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“Seventeen years after Google released Google Maps, New Zealand’s transport agency has decided to copy it with Journey Planner, a tool to map people’s journeys and alert them to possible disruptions, at great expense to New Zealand’s taxpayers.

“Information obtained by ACT via parliamentary questions shows the Government’s ill thought out venture into online route planning sunk $1m into development, a further $700k on website maintenance and improvements, and almost half a million on marketing their clunky map. These are just the costs so far.

“Let’s be honest, people still just use Google Maps though.

“What’s even worse is that journey planner is only accessible via phone or laptop. That’s not very helpful when you’re driving and it is illegal to use either device.

“This is yet another reminder of why the Government shouldn’t waste taxpayers’ money trying to compete with the private sector. More often than not they fail miserably and they’re wasting Kiwis’ money during a cost of living crisis.

“It is truly baffling that at no point the Minister asked the question - why are we trying to create something that already exists?

“The failed Journey Planner experiment needs to be scrapped and not another cent should be spent on it. People are just going to use Google Maps or Apple Maps anyway.

“With inflation pressuring Kiwis from the pump to the checkout, we cannot afford this kind of waste.”