Labour Attacks Minister’s “Love Of Motorways”


Labour today launched an attack on the transport minister saying that Steven Joyce “loves motorways and has no interest in rail being a major part of New Zealand’s transport mix.”

Not mentioning the fact the it was labour that dithered for years when it could have moved faster to get Auckland electrification, Labour transport spokesman, Darren Hughes,  declares that labour “believes” in rail.

“That’s why we took back Kiwi Rail after years of neglect and asset stripping while in private ownership. “

He says the obsession about motorways is affecting regional roading.

“ Councils up and down the country are facing the reality that their road maintenance budgets will soon dry up because of the Government’s decision to slash their funding.

“Roads that Kiwi communities rely on every day are at risk of being left unsafe because the money to keep them safe has been redirected into motorways in the major centres.”

Darren Hughes says National’s lack of commitment to provincial transport systems does not end with roading.

“It’s troubling to see the lack of commitment from the Government to reopening the Stratford and Okahukura rail link which was recently damaged by a derailment. National is not committed to rail. The lack of enthusiasm to investigate getting the damaged rail line up and running is evidence of that.

“The provinces rely on road and rail to keep their communities and economies moving.

“Steven Joyce shouldn’t neglect Kiwis living in the provinces. They deserve to have safe roads to travel on, and reliable rail that takes their products to markets.”




  1. William M says:

    Glad Labour has woken up and remembered that they bought KR and that they should defend KR. It’s a little too late for me though.

  2. Chris R says:

    Perhaps Labour’s bleating would be more effective if they stated the truth - that Joyce has been possessed by the RTF.

  3. Cambennett says:

    I’m just glad to see Labour actually saying something on the issue. Long way it continue.

  4. Jon says:

    Interesting, but true points made. Local councils all over NZ have had roading AND public transport budgets slashed.

    Look at Hamilton. Despite a huge growth in PT users in the past 4 years, the National Govt has given just a 3% increase for next years operation, and ZERO increase in year 2 and 3 thereafter. This is forcing both EW and Hamilton City to review the bus services and fares (just went up).

    And I thought National Party’s tag line was “for a better future”? How about for no future, when the price of oil hits US$100+ a barrel their “roads only” transport plan will be well hit. NZ will suffer for it in a major way.

    I the positive side, I guess National are building huge 3 or 4 lane walk way!

  5. jarbury says:

    I really do think Labour have turned a corner on this matter.

    Hopefully there will be some follow-up from Labour, and they’ll realise that there’s no point attacking Joyce over roading issues.

  6. Joshua says:

    Labour problem is they are all talk and no action. They might believe in something but it will still take them nine years to act on it. I think nationals obsession with roading has come from good ideals and miss interpeded information. It is a common belief that roading projects require more jobs and national has been working hard to restrict the effects of the resession. However if we put the money into building a better transport network we may have gained more with that employment. I think it would be more beneficial to convince national to invest more in pt rather than have labour talk in circles about it.

  7. Jeremy Harris says:

    How is common belief that roading projects require more workers when there have been studies showing PT projects employ 40% more people and usually at least a driver afterwards..?

    Great to see Labour commenting on this…

  8. Joshua says:

    common belief, as that is what is believed from a general point of veiw, not actual fact. hence miss interpeded information.


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