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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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