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NRT: National’s roads are pure pork

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 pm, July 29th, 2014 - 13 comments
Categories: bill english, Economy, national, same old national, tax, transport, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn

Last month the government announced it would be spending $212 million on regional roads. Every single one of the priority projects (and eight of nine lower priority projects) is in a National-held electorate, which suggested immediately that this was pre-election pork-barrelling. But now thanks to Rob Salmond and the OIA, that suspicion has been confirmed:

But local MP Bill English – who has no Ministerial responsibility for transport – requested and received two NZTA briefings in 10 days about [the Kawarau Falls Bridge]. And, lo and behold, the project has received the blessing of the normally tight-as-a-drum Minister of Finance, Bill English. It is now at the head of the queue.

English has made sure that, despite its low efficiency and low benefit cost ratio, taxpayers will spend up to $25 million on his Kawerau Falls Bridge anyway. Who wants to take bets on the name of the new bridge?

Similar Ministerial interference is likely elsewhere, too. Nick Smith in Nelson has long been an advocate of the Nelson Southern Link, despite the Environment Court rubbishing it in 2004 and NZTA panning in 2014 (Cost: Up to $50 million. Benefit cost ratio “0 to 2,” page 32.).2 And Anne Tolley in Gisborne is getting the now infamous “let’s replace the Motu bridge we’ve only just fixed” project (Benefit cost ratio “0 to 2”, page 32), which even the Gisborne council and local truck drivers think isn’t a good idea.

They’re also spinning the benefit-cost ratios; the Kawarau Falls Bridge (BCR 1.1) is classified as “1 to 3”, which is just a little misleading. And if they’re doing that to something which barely breaks even, the ones classified as “0 to 2” are probably all below 0.5.

These roads are basically pure pork. They are assessed as costing more money to build than they will ever produce in benefits, even using NZTA’s infamously overoptimistic assessments. But they’ve been approved because National MPs and Ministers want to be seen as delivering something for their electorates before the election. So much for assessing needs based on merits.

13 comments on “NRT: National’s roads are pure pork”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    That article clearly reveals the corrupt partisan practices of this dodgy government. Where are our news reporters, our investigative journalists and our fair and balanced political ‘commentators’ on our TV and the MSM reporting on these shockingly shoddy affairs?

    Key and Jerry Brownlee have a serious explaining to do. When are they going to be interviewed, questioned and held responsible? Going by the biased standards of our media and their pro government slant, not likely to happen!

  2. emergency mike 2

    Benefit cost ratio 0 to 2? As I understand it, 0 means you’ll get nothing back on your investment, 1 means you break even, and 2 means you’ll get back twice what you put in? Am I right?

    If I am then ‘Benefit cost ratio 0 to 2’ sounds a bit like being offered a return on your investment of between -100% and 100%. Which sounds a lot like like either ‘no one has a clue’ or ‘total dogshit’.

  3. disturbed 3

    National is going the wrong way down the road, here’s why.
    This tarmac crazed Government came in late 2008.

    Then they set about dismantling our railway system in N.Z.

    Bill English as Minister of Finance said as a small population we cant afford both land transport functions, so they began building roads and more roads.

    At the same time they grudgingly put a rail plan together to fund $250 Million a year for three years to make them look like they were trying to do some rail restoration.

    After three years Kiwirail got $750 million for restoring the rail system National said that was a good result.

    Here is the real truth,

    While the drip feed $250m a year came to Kiwirail the funds were “diverted from repairs and upgrades on the rail, and were sent to:
    Auckland passenger rail, = $350M
    Wellington Commuter rail.=$200M
    Locomotives and Wagons. = $200M

    So you know virtually nothing went to “restore our rail network” at all

    Do you wonder why the Napier Gisborne rail washout never got fixed while a rail freight and tourism surge was occurring of doubling of previous years financial figures showed?

    Because now they wanted the rail corridor simply for a cycleway, without care for all Gisborne HB citizens wanting rail back to lower truck gridlock.

    This all the while National was spending massive on repairs on roading because all those trucks are now wrecking the roads faster than they can repair them.

    It is a loosing transport policy that will bankrupt our Nation after all rail services are gone if this bunch of idiots keep this dopey Tarmac plan.

    Then rocketing oil prices will make road freight so expensive as the dollar drops and fuel prices rise, we will be so screwed.

    • Clemgeopin 3.1

      +100.
      Why can’t this stooopid government understand basic stuff!

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        They do understand basic stuff – they understand what makes the rich richer and they’ll do that even if it means destroying NZ.

        • Chooky 3.1.1.1

          +!00…yes these motorways are for their developer friends and their blind trusts…and massive immigration …from where?….(i hope not the Middle East when it gets too hot for Israel)

          These motorways will not help the average New Zealander ( particularly if they are toll roads and with the oil crisis)

          Nor will these roads help New Zealand TOURISM….which relies on an aesthetic experience..Tourism is one of New Zealand’s biggest earners and not factored in to the economics of motorway building…eating up precious country side

          Labour should axe the motorways …save the billions in borrowing ….and concentrate on rail and Tourism, public transport and bike trails …i have yet to see Labour’s policy on this

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Then rocketing oil prices will make road freight so expensive as the dollar drops and fuel prices rise, we will be so screwed.

      Yep. Although I think the problem will be more around affordability – prices can stay stable, but as business and personal incomes drop, stagnation will mount.

      Bill English as Minister of Finance said as a small population we cant afford both land transport functions, so they began building roads and more roads.

      I mean, it’s just fuckwittery from English whom I doubt believes one word of it. We built and ran a nationwide rail system with fewer than 1M people in the country ffs.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        We built and ran a nationwide rail system with fewer than 1M people in the country ffs.

        That’s because rail and the trains to run on them are incredibly cheap to build. This is in contrast to how expensive it is to build and maintain roads.

        Blinglish did say we could have one or the other, not both, and he’s probably right. Where he’s going wrong is in the fact that he’s building the more expensive roads rather than rail.

  4. vto 4

    $400 million for diary farmers irrigation dreams of grandeur (can’t handle the free market so need welfare)

    $1,700million for shoddy South Canterbury Finance investors (can’t handle the free market so need welfare).

    $30million for foreigner Rio Tinto (can’t handle the free market so needs welfare)

    $35million loan for Steven Joyce’s business mediaworks (can’t handle the free market so needs welfare).

    $212million for National seat roads (where is the free market to provide? More welfare please).

    …..

    but cant handle a few million to keep Christchurch East schools stable for a few years post-earthquake to ensure our children are safe and secure in the only remaining stability in their lives…

    they have names for these sorts of people. srylands is one. Disgusting – spitoooeeee hard

  5. disturbed 5

    Yes and the final straw is now we hear they are scrapping wagons at an alarming rate every week now this was from inside sources.

    In Joyce/Brownlee’s words “it doesn’t’ stack up”?

    They were lying about the Napier Gisborne rail. but we say what they are doing now certainly “doesn’t stack up”.

  6. Jepenseque 6

    This is a weak critique. National holds almost every regional/rural seat. Ergo regional roads are going to be in national held seats. Also surprise surprise a local mp is interested in a local road.

  7. disturbed 7

    Jepenseque

    You are ignoring all the flack regional national M.P’s are now receiving with their hasty embrace of taxpayer road funding over rail restoration.

    Trouble with this simplistic analogy you applied to the critique was to assume there are no actual negative effects to local regional tax and ratepayers as these National M.P.’s are pushing for pork barrel politics of boosting local roads while running down rail restoration.

    Most of the flack these Nat M.P.’s are facing is the following;
    1/ proliferation of truck gridlock occurring as rail freight moves to road.
    2/ worsening environmental effects from heavy 24/7 trucks though residential suburban communities.
    3/ worsening budget costs imposed on local ratepayers due to local roads destroyed by truck road freight movements moving onto their roads causing cost shifting from NZTA to local councils/ratepayers.

    So you are wrong to assume “This is a weak critique. National holds almost every regional/rural seat.”

    We will expect a drop in National voter support across the regional electorate due to all these negative effects deliberately forced/applied on local ratepayers by National Government’s dumb tarmac only expensive policies.

    Hope we all see them thrown out in September by crass attempt of shifting a central Government maintenance cost to local councils and ratepayers in this underhanded deliberate manner.

    It is just another form of imposing more taxes on the regions and less on the crown debt as they embrace tarmac over rail.

  8. Chooky 8

    +100…this message has to get out there!

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    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    8 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    9 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    9 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    13 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    15 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    16 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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