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