National to launch petition to protect highway projects

State Highway 1. Photo: Getty.

The National Party is launching a series of petitions to save major highway projects, which they argue are at risk because of the Government’s inclination towards light rail in Auckland.

Judith Collins, the National Party spokesperson for transport, joins Tony Murrell on Summer Breakfast to discuss the goal of the petitions.  

Ms Collins explains the Government’s preference to rail in Auckland is clear. National is concerned that funds will be diverted to the Government’s rail project, rather than regional highways across the country.

[The Government is] not committing to anything in particular except for rail,” she says.

The petitions will soon be out for those to sign online or in person at in various supermarkets and events, and will be available for several months.

Let’s be sensible here.

The petitions will focus on saving nine particular roads around the country, including Auckland's East-West Link and the State Highway 1 from Christchurch to Ashburton.

Ms Collins points out that the Mill Road Corridor upgrade in the Manukau region is “a huge investment, but it’s also critically important for Auckland.”

The National transport spokesperson was asked whether New Zealand should focus on other forms of transport other than adding more cars to the road.  

“That’s an argument, particularly in the metropolitan areas.”

Ms Collins refers to roads from Waimakerere down to Ashburton,

“Are we really saying that these roads should all have rail on them instead?” she asks.

However, Labour's Phil Twyford has refuted the claims that the Government will redirect funds to light rail, calling Ms Collin’s claims are unfounded. 

Listen to the full interview with Judith Collins above. 

Summer Breakfast with Tony Murrell, 6am - 9am weekdays on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.