In a continuation of Key’s “style over substance” policy approach, his consultants have found him a new buzzword – “infrastructure”.
“Australia’s been more productive because they’ve invested in infrastructure… they’ve made sure they’ve got private sector capital going in there as well as the public sector investing… we need to deliver that infrastructure“
he said last week in a Radio Dunedin interview. Infrastructure was even mentioned part way through his ill-fated DVD:
“…look at the traffic building up here in Auckland. We need to do something about New Zealand’s infrastructure“.
I thought it might be interesting to check the Nats’ record on something like roading infrastructure. Turns out it’s so poor I’m not really sure why they’d want to draw our attention to it – perhaps their shameful past is why John Key keeps imploring us to look forward…
The graph below shows National Land Transport Programme infrastructure spending – National in blue and Labour in red:
Maurice Williamson – you might remember him from this post of Tane’s – was National’s sleepy Minister of Transport from 1993-1999.
Instead of actually developing any infrastructure during his time as Minister, Williamson fell asleep at the wheel. He spent nearly a full decade, stuck in the slow lane, trying to figure out a way to involve private enterprise in highway construction – primarily because National didn’t want to fund the roads themselves.
Nearly a decade and Williamson couldn’t figure it out.
Ask him how he’d accelerate transport spending now and he’ll still tell you “private enterprise” – and still without a real plan.
The Trans-Tasman said of Williamson only last week:
“Great debater. Strong on Auckland’s transport problems – no real answers. Star may be waning.”
Recycled policies, recycled MPs – sounds like the same old National to me.