Com­plete dis­re­gard of com­muters

Franklin County News - - FRONT PAGE -

I note the views of Jon Reeves, NZ First’s long-term can­di­date for Hunua, re­gard­ing the Mill Road ex­ten­sion (Opinion, May 22). His as­ser­tion that Mill Road ‘‘barely touches the mas­sive Hunua elec­torate’’ is ab­surd.

It also shows a com­plete dis­re­gard for the thou­sands of com­muters who bat­tle ev­ery day to get on to the South­ern Mo­tor­way from places such as Franklin and Or­mis­ton/Mis­sion Heights, and ar­eas fur­ther afield.

That was the rea­son Pa­pakura MP Ju­dith Collins and I fought so hard to have an en­tire new, al­ter­na­tive mo­tor­way, start­ing in Manukau and fin­ish­ing be­tween Drury and Ra­ma­rama, taken over, con­sented and paid for by the then Na­tional Gov­ern­ment.

We wanted to pre­vent the prob­lem of peo­ple be­ing forced to sit in their cars for hours while try­ing to get to and from work.

The Na­tional Gov­ern­ment agreed to use the fast track con­sent­ing process and to com­mit the $1 bil­lion re­quired to com­plete the project in one go. That would have seen the work fin­ished and the road in use in a mat­ter of years.

Un­for­tu­nately, the coali­tion Gov­ern­ment (which the can­di­date from NZ First be­longs to) has cho­sen to ‘‘plan’’ to build this new mo­tor­way pro­gres­sively over sev­eral decades.

Jon Reeves should also know that the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the rail­way line to Pukekohe was al­ready part of the Auck­land Trans­port Align­ment Project agreed be­tween the Na­tional Gov­ern­ment and Auck­land Coun­cil.

An­drew Bayly, MP for Hunua

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