The Government has rolled out the pork barrel for its Northland candidate Mark Osborne, pledging to replace 10 one-lane bridges at a cost of up to $69 million.
Osborne made the announcement today together with Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
Bridges said funding for the projects would mainly come from the National Land Transport Fund.
Mainly? Where else would the funds come from?
If the 10 bridges all have a positive BCR (benefit to cost ratio) then they are worth doing – regardless of whether there is a by-election. But do they? The Government should release the business cases for them.
Bridges said their replacement was the logical next step from the development of the Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.
He said the National-led Government had invested more than $750m in state highway and local roading projects across Northland over the last seven years.
“And that doesn’t include Puhoi to Wellsford which is a $1.75 billion commitment. Today’s announcement shows National remains committed to improving roading in Northland, as well as the links to Northland, to ensure the continuing growth and prosperity of the region.”
It is worth remembering that the policies of Labour, Greens and NZ First is to not build Puhoi to Wellsford, and transfer much of the money for roading into rail.