ACT Infrastructure spokesman Cameron Luxton is advising the Labour Party’s website administrators to scrub any trace of 2020’s forgotten “Big New Zealand Upgrade” ad campaign:

“Labour’s slickly-produced ad spot, presumably funded by hard-up working class donors, was pushed out to a mass audience online and on TV. It racked up 339,000 views on Youtube alone.”

“Labour’s website still hosts an FAQ on the Upgrade posing tough questions like ‘What about the Lumsden birthing unit?’ (it was downgraded), ‘Will replacing coal boilers really make a difference?’ (it didn’t) and ‘How long will it take to deliver these projects?’ (we’ll probably never know).”

“Then there’s the page promising an incredible 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will make life better for Kiwis. ACT can identify 12 billion reasons it made life worse.”

“When will Labour scrub evidence of this sad ad campaign? When will they apologise to the donors who funded it? How does Phil Twyford sleep at night? These are all questions New Zealanders will be asking as they read the Auditor-General’s damning report highlighting the countless times Ministers were warned how rushed, politically-driven decisions would lead to blowouts.”

“Together, Labour’s $12 billion NZ Upgrade and $3 billion ‘shovel ready’ package exploited the rhetoric of job creation and COVID recovery to put unprecedented resources in mortal danger, leaving project managers across the country aghast at the gap between uber-funded promises and actual delivery.”

“This saga exemplifies the need for rigorous financial scrutiny behind every aspect of infrastructure delivery. But more importantly, government Ministers and the media need to actually sit up and pay attention early when Treasury warns of cost overruns.”


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