Roll out the pork barrel

I’ve been puzzled ever since Transport Minister Steven Joyce announce the Government’s Roads of National Significance back in March as to why the Puhoi-Wellsford motorway was on the list.

The Puhoi-Wellsford motorway is far from a priority for the Auckland Regional Transport Authority. The existing road is only rarely congested. And with a price tag of $2.3 billion, the proposed motorway is enormously expensive.

The I read an opinion piece by Brian Rudman in the NZ Herald:

It will also do no harm to Mr Joyce’s reported desire to inherit Speaker Lockwood Smith’s Rodney electorate, through which the grand motorway will run.

And everything fell into place. Lockwood Smith is likely to retire at the next election. Steven Joyce, who lives in the Rodney electorate, wants to enhance his public standing by becoming an electorate MP. Rodney, his home electorate, would be the ideal place to stand.

And what better way to ensure he gets the National Party nomination for the electorate than give the movers and shakers there a brand spanking new motorway.

Pork barrel politics at its worst!

Meanwhile, I likely still won’t be able to catch a train between Henderson and New Lynn on a Sunday.

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