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Whom to believe?

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, August 25th, 2008 - 17 comments
Categories: national, transport - Tags:

On Agenda on Sunday, National’s Transport spokesperson, Maurice Williamson, said National would impose tolls on major new road projects – Transmission Gully, Waterview etc – and on the Harbour Bridge if a tolled second crossing of the harbour is built. Williamson said a typical person using those toll roads for commuting would spend about $50 a week but he thinks people would be happy to pay it. He also said these toll roads and other projects (including schools, hospitals, and prisons) could be built as Public-Private Partnerships, effectively a form of borrowing where the private company puts the money up front and gets profit for decades. Williamson wants the legislation changed so private investors can make profit off these public assets for ’50-60′ years, rather than the legislated limit of 35 years.

Today on Nine to Noon , Bill English called his wannabe infrastructure minister ‘exurberant’. Refusing to give any details, English says the cost will not be $50 a week, more like $20. Where the extra money would come from the pay for these PPPs, English can’t say.

Is it an acceptable situation when we can’t take the words of a National spokesperson as correct statements of National policy? Should we have to go and check with English and Key each time, except when they get it wrong?

And which Nat do you believe? The one speaking frankly and offering detail, even if it is politically unpalpable, or the one trying to minimise political damage and offering vague promises?

17 comments on “Whom to believe? ”

  1. randal 1

    and this morning bill english said national will spend $50-$60 BILLION on infraSTRUCTURE OVER THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS. well thats a lot of money in my book so what are the plans or is that just another ball park figure like muldoons 410,000 jobs…hahahahaha. National are the least credible they have been since the 1950’s and they weren’t too hot then.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    “And which Nat do you believe?”

    The one that doesn’t know you’ve got a tape recorder.

  3. Daveski 3

    ha ha SP – can’t argue with that one can I??

    It’s shambolic and amateurish and something that shouldn’t be happening. It worries me that the Nats have had plenty of time to act like the govt in waiting but they are doing their best to implode.

    You can see why HC is a control freak – the control is central to preventing these type of spin disasters.

  4. bill brown 4

    Once may be an accident, but twice is just plain careless.

  5. Draco TB 5


  6. Dan 6

    Well, that’s transport policy out. We have health policy with increase in fees, ACC policy with $200m going overseas, borrowing for tax cuts; prisons run for profit.
    I look forward this week to defence expenditure with new jets and vouchers in education. Policy to deal with unions and beneficiaries is still to be taken care of.
    I am ambitious for New Zealaand!

  7. bill brown 7

    Explaining is loosing, Maurice.

    …and he’s not ambitious, he’s passionate.

  8. deemac 8

    we should start a book on the shortest run for a Nat policy – how many hours did this one last?

  9. outofbed 9

    I am passionate about roading projects and unfortunately let my enthusiasm go unchecked.

    They are taking the piss now

  10. outofbed 10

    In light of National party spokespersons gaffs on the program “Agenda” it should be renamed Secret Agenda

  11. roger nome 11

    “this morning bill english said national will spend $50-$60 BILLION”

    lol – and National wailed and wailed about Labour spending 1% of that amount getting our rail system up to speed in preparation for peak oil. ffs how can you take the Tories seriously?

  12. roger nome 12

    out of bed – lol 🙂

    Steve – what I found funniest was Williamson’s argument that “if you don’t want to pay the toll, you can piss off and join the rest of the plebs on the traffic-jammed free road”! Typical classist, Tory arrogance.

    Needless to say, National won’t be wanting to provide an attractive public-transport alternative in Auckland, so people can avoid both huge toll fees and traffic jams …

  13. Dan 13

    The Nat’s logic in holding back on releasing policy is that it denies their opponents the chance to counter it before the election. If all the examples so far are any indication, maybe they need to hide policies from others in the National Party.
    It is a big ask for ambitious Nats to keep quiet on areas they have been given responsibility for. The problem is that dog whistler John boy, and farmer Bill have the final say.
    And reflecting on the Hollow Men film, could someone please count the times that Brash was seen walking without his media minder. I guess media minders can’t be everywhere at once, and so Williamson put his foot in it by revealing the Nats true intentions.

  14. roger nome, I have to agree with you 100%. When National stop the squandering of roading revenue on horrendously expensive public transport Transit will be able to afford to fix Auckland’s traffic jam withour resorting to tolls.

    Alternatively Transit could use the money to fix the potholes on state highways in Christchurch and make Aucklander’s pay for their own motorways – with tolls.

    On a serious note, tolling only the new motorways is stupid and shortsighted. What we need is to GPS toll all roads so that capacity is paid for only by those who travel at times when the capacity is needed. Otherwise the capacity is subsidised by all road users.

  15. Billy 15

    Whom to believe? Are you sure, Steve.

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