“After six years spent trying to bully Kiwis out of their cars with ‘mode shift’, Labour now wants to talk about new roads a couple of months from election day. It’s a cynical attempt to bribe Kiwis with the prospect of shiny new roads, but nothing will get built until ACT’s policy to revamp transport funding is enacted,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.
“The 12c increase to fuel taxes shows how incoherent Labour is, they cut fuel taxes in a bout of populism and now they’re ramping them up because they’ve run out of money. EVs and Hybrids who use the road as much as anybody will be subsidised further by petrol and diesel vehicles. ACT’s proposal for a world class tolling system is a much fairer way of ensuring roads can be paid for and people pay for infrastructure they use.
“This GPS highlights the failures of the past six years. It shows just how much time and money Labour has wasted pursuing unicorn projects like light rail in Auckland and Wellington. While giving Waka Kotahi a confused mandate to save us from climate change has made it even easier to prevent progress. After all this, they’re back to where they started, proposing roads that were announced years ago.
“There’s nothing new about political parties announcing a slate of transport projects in areas where they think they can secure some votes in election year. The problem is they all rely on the same broken system to produce these roads, meaning most projects are greatly delayed or never happen.
“Labour also wants to shell out to extend inter-regional rail, a transport system that is heavily taxpayer-subsidised and has low patronage. With all of the transport resilience risks that need attending and projects sitting in limbo, this is nothing but a pipe dream.
“ACT is proposing to change the way roads are funded, so politicians spend less time announcing new roads and Kiwis spend more time driving on them.
“Labour’s tenure is the perfect case study for why ACT’s transport policy is necessary. It would set 30-year infrastructure plans between the Government and councils in each region of the country. This takes the politics out of transport infrastructure, long-term plans developed with local input mean the Government of the day must be focussed on delivering them.
“If the Government cannot afford every road people want, then investors and builders from around the world will be invited to build it and toll it for a specified period before it is handed back to the Government.
“Kiwis will effectively have a choice: make use of new toll roads much sooner or wait for tax-funded roads to be delivered later or never.
“This is the change of direction New Zealand so desperately needs. ACT is ambitious for New Zealand, we aspire towards a modern, thriving economy with world class infrastructure. With private sector financing and expertise to bring projects forward, we can achieve that.
“If Kiwis want modern transport infrastructure, they need to vote for Real Change. Otherwise in six years’ time the same old roads will be getting re-announced and we’ll be in the same situation we are now.”