5 Nov 2016

Peters derides Auckland-centric highway funding

10:29 am on 5 November 2016

Northland MP Winston Peters says claims a costly new highway from Pūhoi to Warkworth will benefit Northland are a bad joke.

Winston Peters at the Bridge run.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The government this week awarded a $700 million contract to extend the Auckland motorway by 18km between Pūhoi and Warkworth, saying it would help Auckland and grow the Northland economy.

Funding to extend Auckland's northern highway to Warkworth has been approved, but there seems no progress on the promised Warkworth-Wellsford stretch.

Funding to extend Auckland's northern highway to Warkworth has been approved, but there seems no progress on the promised Warkworth-Wellsford stretch. Photo: Google Maps

Mr Peters said the road did not reach the Northland electorate, and there was still no sign of planning for the next stretch of highway further north between Warkworth and Wellsford promised 18 months ago.

20072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Smart Motorway in Wellington.

Construction of the Pūhoi to Warkworth highway will start before Christmas. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

It has been eight years since the government snatched rural roading funds to pay for the Roads of National Significance project including the Pūhoi to Warkworth stretch, Mr Peters said, but not a single of metre of it has been built.

A New Zealand Transport Agency spokesperson said the contractor, Express Group, would start construction before Christmas.

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