Bernard Orsman takes a break from his stint of reporting in glowing terms every utterance from Phil Goff and instead highlights Labour’s ongoing mendacity with transport promises…without actually saying as much.
A new cycle and walking bridge across the Waitemata Harbour estimated to cost $685 million has sparked celebration, disbelief and anger across Auckland.
On Friday, the Government sent Auckland into a spin by announcing cyclists and pedestrians would get their own bridge across the harbour and two big road projects would be axed.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson promised Aucklanders 16 months ago to deliver the $1.3 billion Mill Rd highway and $423 million of work along SH1 in South Auckland.
“We are funding them and we are delivering them,” Ardern said at the time.NZ Herald
No, they aren’t funding them, nor are they going to deliver them either.
Transport Minister Michael Wood said on Friday that in light of the increased costs and climate commitment, the New Zealand Upgrade Programme was being rebalanced to increase investment in rail, public transport, walking and cycling.
He said the cost of Mill Rd had risen from $1.3b to $3.5b and was being scaled back from a four-lane highway to two lanes with a focus on safety improvements.
The $423m of works on SH1 have soared in cost to $1.165b, bringing the Government to scuttle the second stage of the works.NZ Herald
No real reason has been given for such massive increases other than:
Robertson said Covid-19 has increased construction costs around the world, saying the original upgrade programme had nearly doubled in cost from $6.8b to $12.8b. The Government was putting an additional $1.9b into the programme, he said.NZ Herald
Excuse me, but that’s just horse doody. That is just a convenient excuse that doesn’t pass the sniff test. They are hoping everyone will say…”Oh, Covid…of course”.
But the reality of this latest promise is that it is built on the foundations of their many broken promises in transport and their poor record of implementing anything at all.
Bernard Orsman mentions just two of their transport broken promises, Mill Road and SH1 upgrades in South Auckland, without mentioning the broken and never delivered multi-billion dollar boondoggle promised by Jacinda Ardern during the 2017 election campaign…light rail to the airport by 2021. They’ve spent $25 million on that and not even a single millimetre of the track has been laid.
I haven’t even mentioned the broken transport promises around the rest of the country but I should mention that two massive promises from the last term have proven just how inept Labour are at even trying to implement large projects. By now we should have had 30,000 Kiwibuild homes built, and millions upon millions of trees planted.
Labour’s mendacious promise to build a bridge across the harbour for the five dedicated cycling commuters who will use it also highlights the incredible folly of listening to lycra-clad wankers.
The original SkyPath proposal, which Labour bought like a proverbial street vendor Rolex, was slated to cost about $35 million. By the time they picked up the steal of a project it was at $67 million Now we are staring down the loaded barrels of a billion dollar white elephant:
The SkyPath project over the Harbour Bridge was priced at $67m by former Transport Minister and Green co-leader James Shaw in 2018.
A year later the NZ Transport agency priced a design for SkyPath at about $240m.
Since Labour came to office, SkyPath has risen in cost by more than 900 per cent.
Transport Minister Michael Wood says SkyPath is expected to take five years to consent and build.NZ Herald
If it comes in under a billion dollars and is implemented in just five years, I’ll eat my hat…and I’ll have a very, very expensive bridge I can sell you.
Auckland City Councillors seem to also have lost the plot on this project.
Pro-cycling and climate change councillors Pippa Coom, Chris Darby and Richard Hills were delighted at the prospect of the “missing link” in Auckland’s walking and cycling network being completed and at the possibility of closing a lane or two on the existing harbour for a cycling trial.
“Yay! A trial is still on the table,” said Coom on social media.NZ Herald
If brains were dynamite the two of them wouldn’t have enough to blow their noses. Then again they were front and centre encouraging cyclists to break the law and ride over the harbour bridge.
Michael Wood seems to believe all this nonsense of the “missing link” in our transport infrastructure as he de-funds projects with much higher BCR scores. It beats me why this bloke thinks the “missing link” is not in his department for thinking the public will pay $675m for lycra-clad wankers to cycle across the harbour while traffic backs up on squeezed motorways as a result of his feeble-minded transport plans. His promise to build this bridge within five years is as hollow as his promise to ban penis lollies if elected.
The sad reality is that we are all being lied to by a mendacious government led by one of the biggest liars in our political history. You can’t believe a single thing that they promise will ever be delivered, on time or under budget, if at all.
This bridge promise will be as hollow as all their others.
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