web analytics
The Standard

Polity: Brownlee burns $100,000 or $5 million, take your pick

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, July 1st, 2014 - 27 comments
Categories: Economy, Gerry Brownlee, national, same old national, transport - Tags: , ,

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

Here’s Michael Fox at Stuff on the new Motu bridge in Gisborne:

The Government has almost finished a $100,000 project to strengthen a bridge it will now tear down and replace as part of its new roading package.

Prime Minister John Key unveiled the Government’s $212 million roading package at the party’s annual conference in Wellington at the weekend. It includes the replacement of the one-lane Motu Bridge between Gisborne and Opotiki.

Strengthening of the bridge, which the Government says will open it up to bigger trucks, began in April and is due to be finished in the next fortnight.

Really? Is Gerry so shambolically disorganised that he signs off projects to do the same work twice, with your money both times? This is ridiculous.

The article goes on:

The bridge had only 900 vehicle movements a day and its being one-way was not a major inconvenience.

“They’ve just spent 100 grand to futureproof it for 25 years,” Caddie said.

“Even the local industry people here are saying that it’s not an issue for them, they don’t ever have to wait on that bridge and there’s never been an accident on it so they’d rather see the money going into other priorities.”

The $3m to $5m cost to replace the bridge, with construction due to start next year, was a “massive investment while there’s other more pressing priorities in the region”.

Let me get this straight. National is spending $5 million to replace a bridge they have just fixed, which absolutely nobody is asking them to do.

Who would have thought that pork-barrel road projects had such poor cost/benefit reasoning behind them. Heckuva job, Gerry.

I have just put in my OIA request for all the economic analysis on these projects. For taxpayers’ sake I sure hope they do not all come out like this one.

I assume, given the politically sensitive request about David Cunliffe’s letter about Liu sped through the OIA system in two days flat, that I’ll have my answers by Wednesday, right?

27 comments on “Polity: Brownlee burns $100,000 or $5 million, take your pick”

  1. cogito 1

    …. And today’s petrol price hike is apparently due, according to the Liar of NZ, to people driving more fuel efficient cars!!!

    ****So the price rise is “our” fault!!!!!****

    What an absolute sewer dweller Key is. People drive less and buy more economical cars to save a few dollars in fuel, at a time when everything is going up in price…. then he goes and hits them again.

    Filth.

    • You_Fool 1.1

      He has to be able to afford that election bribe somehow….

    • vto 1.2

      It is about time things like fuel and houses were transparent in their advertised prices….

      Petrol BP: $1.10 per litre plus $1.20 tax.

      New house: $350,000 plus Council charges $50,000 plus Government GST $60,000, total $460,000.

      Makes it nice and clear and transparent. It would certainly focus the minds of the public.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.1

        Anyone who is building a new house themselves will be acutely aware how much the GST and council costs add.

        Someone who buys a brand-new house built by someone else won’t, of course. Also GST and council costs don’t apply to 2nd-hand houses.

        Anyway, I think an aspect of why Americans are so anti-tax is that they get hit in the face with sales tax all of the time. I’m sure it would only take a few instances of bringing stuff up to the counter, having tax added and then discovering that you can’t actually afford everything you wanted, due to tax, before you start hating the tax.

      • Tombstone 1.2.2

        Why don’t Labour do just as you suggested and garner the attention of the people that way? I think it’s quite a powerful message that much of what we are paying is in fact excessive taxation and that National claimed that they were all about lowering taxes and yet here they are in reality putting them up. It’s a huge double standard and if Labour can articulate that in a way that is easy for the average layman to understand and can’t be disputed by Key and his cronies it might give Labour that in that they have so desperately been searching for. Don’t attack Key. Attack the house of lies that he resides within. If you wanna kill the king first you’ve got to take the castle and maybe that’s the problem – Labour have been too busy lobbing arrows over the wall in the hope of that one in a million chance one might hit the spot but the odds are so astronomical that it’s more or less a pointless exercise. Take the castle – take the fucking king and his head!

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1

          I think it’s quite a powerful message that much of what we are paying is in fact excessive taxation

          Except that that isn’t true. If we want something then we have to pay for it and we’re not actually paying high enough taxes.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      And today’s petrol price hike is apparently due, according to the Liar of NZ, to people driving more fuel efficient cars!!!

      That probably has some effect. I suspect the fact that people are driving less due to increasing costs of fuel would be a bigger factor though. Comes down to economies of scale. Essentially, the more people drive the less the maintenance on the roads will cost per kilometre traveled. This means that the less people drive the more the road taxes have to go up to cover the same amount of roading.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        “This means that the less people drive the more the road taxes have to go up to cover the same amount of roading.”

        Well it’s not a simple linear relationship. Because the less people drive, the less wear there is on the roads. Also the less traffic there is, the less need there is for congestion improvements to be made on the roads, and in general the fewer roads are necessary.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      And here’s Gerry Brownlee in 2012:

      The Government will increase petrol tax by three cents a litre each July 1 for the next three years.

      Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said road user charges would also be increased by an equivalent amount.

      He said the increases were required to deliver the “Roads of National Significance” programme and other roading projects to the timeline set out in the Government’s land transport funding policy.

      How do you tell if a National Minister is lying? Their lips are moving

      • Lanthanide 1.4.1

        Great, so I’m paying for roads of Notional Significance that I will never personally drive on, and that have cost:benefit ratios of less than 1.

        Thanks a lot, National!

        When Labour and/or Greens announce their policy to can the uneconomic RoNS, they should also scrap the 6c in petrol tax rises we’ve had under National so far.

  2. vto 2

    They have certainly stubbed their toes on this one. This failure highlights their paucity of thinking and exposes their brazen lust ……

  3. Will@Welly 3

    Wasn’t the cost to re-instate the Gisborne to Napier rail line around $4 million . Now there’d be money well spent.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Of course it would be money well spent – which seems to be why National are against it. Money well spent doesn’t end up lining either their own pockets or those of their rich mates.

  4. Tracey 4

    I cant find the taxpayers union press release expressing their outrage. Can someone help me out?

    • fender 4.1

      Those f-wits who are bastardising the name union in their Taxpayers Union charade are in fact just a far-right-wing cheerleaders club..

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        surely not. That sounds deceptive

        • fender 4.1.1.1

          :-)

          Yeah it’s pretty weird that D. Farrar and J. Williams et al would be involved in anything vaguely deceptive /sarc..

          • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1.1.1

            You dont get a couple a researchers paid for unless someones running a cabinet club.

            Anyway they have a 24 hr hotline where they can put some outrage in the mixer and serve it up as instant mousse.
            Im not holding my breath, the media have run enough stories on the ‘money for roads’ meme and the ennui has set in just as the WTF side comes into the sunlight.

            Chalk another up for #TeamDonKey

  5. Richard 5

    Can’t believe no mention has been made of the Taramakau Road/Rail bridge at Greymouth. Two years and several million dollars of repairs because the government deferred replacement. Now they’re gonna replace it. How much was wasted there?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Link?

      • Richard 5.1.1

        Couple of links here – first one is from the website of the contractor, with the cost of the project. Second is the opinion of the Grey deputy mayor
        http://www.tbsgroup.co.nz/track-record/1024/bridge-13-painting-taramakau/
        Duration: 6 months / Client: KiwiRail / Value: $3.1 million

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/10213251/West-Coast-welcomes-boost

        Grey District Deputy Mayor Doug Truman said Coasters would be “very grateful” to see the Government making a commitment to replace the bridge, but it should have been done years ago.

        “I think it’s the last road and rail bridge in the country and it’s got a high accident rate, especially for motorcyclists and cyclists because they slip on the rails.”

        Several million dollars was spent on recent bridge repairs, Truman said

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Considering the age of that bridge it probably needs to be declared an historic monument of some kind and that alone would make the work worthwhile.

          As it is a road/rail bridge then my suggestion would be just build a road bridge that parallels it to connect the road on both sides while leaving that bridge in place for rail.

          • Richard 5.1.1.1.1

            Yep. Beggars belief that anyone would spend millions on repairs and not put that money into building a new bridge 4-5 years ago. Oh wait, lets waste a few mil and save that idea for an election bribe.

    • Jan 5.2

      I have also been waiting for someone to pick up on that Richard, the front-page headline in the Greymouth Star was “Bridge Funds ‘election bribe’ “. The first sentence says the National Party has said it will spend $10-$15 replacing the Taramakau Bridge which has only recently undergone a $9.8m overhaul – don’t get me wrong – road/rail bridges are never a good thing and this one is right on the Sate Highway, the main arterial link for the whole length of the West Coast – well over 600 kms It has been on the list for replacement for more than seven years. The links provided which give positive comments are unfortunately made by strong National Party supporters, one of whom once stood for election here on that ticket, so not a lot of notice is taken of those opinions. Not wishing to sound nasty with that comment, but my opinions are ignored as being from a Labour Party supporter, so I have no trouble returning the favour.

      The proof is in the pudding, the Nats know they can (if elected) delay things for years, as with the “new hospital” which has been promised for many years now – breathless announcements keep being made of how building will start any day soon, which then look a bit sick when it turns out the plans haven’t even been drawn up yet

  6. NZJester 6

    Imagine if they put that money into replacing a bridge to Gisborne that truly does need replacing. Oh but then that bridge is not for cars and is for rail so I doubt he would consider that. Plus that one National guy in Napier is wanting to rip up the rails and put yet another bike track there.

  7. NZJester 7

    One of those roads targeted in his $212m spend is also going to be a real thank-you present to some potential rich National supporters.
    They are apparently going to put in a bypass away from an area of houses belonging to a bunch of well healed people and stick it through an area that includes going close to a few schools. This dispute the fact that it was recommended it not go ahead due to the dangers it would bring with it if it was routed through the proposed area. National has decided the safety of a bunch of yonng kids who can not vote is not as important as the noise a bunch of people that a very likely to be National supporters have to put up with when the trucks go past their houses.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    3 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    7 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    7 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere