Press Release – Porirua City Council
Porirua City Mayor Nick Leggett is asking the government to ring-fence the “economically critical” Transmission Gully project before undertaking any review of national infrastructure priorities in light of the Christchurch rebuilding.
Mayor Leggett has written to Transport Minister Stephen Joyce urging him to decisively quash rumours that Transmission Gully may be delayed or partially defunded in order to direct resources to the rebuilding effort in Canterbury.
“Every New Zealander supports the government’s determination to rebuild Christchurch and alleviate the many burdens that confront the victims of the horrific quake. I am seeking your assurance that the government will not discard other key economic priorities in the process. In the Wellington region, the entire airport-Levin arterial plan is the highest priority of all.”
The Mayor also reiterated to the Minister the importance of Transmission Gully in providing a much needed alternative access out of the Wellington region and the regional resilience that this builds.
“Part of the route is a particularly important gateway to Wellington, Hutt Valley and Porirua and would be crucial in the event of a major disaster and key to improved access during a recovery.”
He singled out the proposed Petone to Grenada link, expected to cost $250 million, as a project that could be deferred.
“The Petone-Grenada link is neither as urgent nor as economically critical as Transmission Gully. The link from SH1 to the Hutt Valley can be adequately covered on the current SH58 at Haywards, which could be enhanced at a much lower cost. The deferral or cancellation of this project would be a far preferable target for cost-cutting as the Government seeks ways to divert funds to Christchurch.”
And on March 8
Press release from Wellington Chamber of Commerce
Rebuilding Christchurch is rightly the government’s top priority but the government should think carefully before diverting money away from crucial infrastructure projects such as Transmission Gully according to the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.
“We are disappointed to see local government politicians in Wellington using the earthquake as an excuse to rethink Wellington’s transport priorities,” said Chamber CEO Ken Harris.
Government expenditure which is able to boost economic growth in the country as a whole should not be sacrificed in the process of rebuilding Christchurch. Infrastructure projects such as Transmission Gully come under this category.
“There are better examples of low-quality government expenditure which should be cut so that funds can be diverted to Christchurch.
“The Christchurch earthquake also underlines the importance of Transmission Gully to Wellington because it shows how important access to and from the city would be after a natural disaster.
“There is much Wellington can and should do to help Christchurch at this time but cool heads and sensible decisions are needed,” Mr Harris concluded.