"Vacuous Speculation" Says Williamson

  • Maurice Williamson

The release today of a Wellington road tariff scenario by Councillor Terry McDavitt is an unbalanced and misleading attempt to use road reform for his re-election chances, announced Minister Transport Hon Maurice Williamson today.

Mr Williamson was responding to claims in a Wellington evening newspaper that motorists could be charged up to $12 for travelling in to Wellington.

"The story is based on a workshop scenario, which is one of a series being used to assist with the development of a Land Transport Strategy," the Minister said.

"No decisions have been made on road reform. Ministers are still working through the issue, consultation is still taking place and to assume any outcome is erroneous and misleading.

"Both local and central government are looking for answers to New Zealand's roading problems.

"Councillor McDavitt in his capacity as Chairman of the Regional Land Transport Committee was invited to discuss the basis of his scenario with the Ministry of Transport, Transfund and Transit, but did not do this.

"I can only assume his figures are so at variance with reality they would not withstand credible analysis. The newspaper that carried his claims should do better with their research.

"Wellington motorists should not be misled to believe that Government would produce an economically unsustainable package. Government is committed to creating a favourable environment for economic growth to occur.

"The reality for New Zealand is that our roading system is unsustainable.

"Traffic growth and change is putting substantial and increasing pressure on both rural and urban roads. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing.

"The road reform measures currently being considered will, in their final outcome, deliver New Zealand's future social and economic aspirations.

"We need a more focused system to pay for our roads - one that is fair, one where road providers are accountable and one in which invests in a sustainable and safe roading system for New Zealand," Mr Williamson said.