Wellington Scoop

An unwanted road: time to dump NZTA board and senior management?

by Peter Dunne
The worst and most arrogant public service dinosaurs are quasi-government bodies who somehow think that the Government’s policies do not apply to them, and that they can just carry on doing what they have always done. The worst, by a country mile and then some, is the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Leaving aside its precious and downright silly pronouncements on road safety, it regards itself as a complete law unto itself when building new state highways is concerned, as my constituents in Tawa and Takapu are presently finding out.

The Transport Agency’s sublime arrogance in proceeding with a link road proposal that neither local people nor local authorities want or think is even necessary is breathtaking in the extreme.

But what is more repugnant is NZTA’s clumsy attempts at blackmail – threatening to withdraw funding from the widely supported Petone to Grenada road unless it gets its own way on the link road.

If NZTA cannot understand and respond to the depth of local feeling on this issue, then maybe it is time to unceremoniously dump its entire board and senior management and replace them who fully understand – and support – the concept of Better Public Services.

Peter Dunne is Minister of Internal Affairs and MP for Ohariu. These comments are part of a longer article published earlier today.