The Herald reports:
Documents reveal just how frustrated and concerned Treasury was behind the scenes of Wellington’s $6.4 billion transport plan.
An email leading up to the finalisation of the Cabinet paper for Let’s Get Wellington Moving shows Treasury asked why a second Mt Victoria tunnel had been put on the backburner.
“Why is the Minister [Phil Twyford] proposing to build the second Mt Vic tunnel after rapid transit has been delivered? There is no explanation for this sequencing”, April 18, 2019 email said.
The sequencing of projects is the subject of a secret letter Julie Anne Genter, Associate Transport Minister and Green MP, penned to Twyford just a few weeks before on March 26, 2019.
The refusal to publicly release it has heightened speculation over how much influence the Greens had over the transport project, in particular, the decision to push back construction of Wellington’s second Mt Victoria tunnel.
The explanation for the sequencing seems obvious. The Greens would have had a temper tantrum otherwise.
Treasury was also concerned the benefit of projects was largely unknown and that wasn’t made clear in the paper.
“Given that the Minister is asking Cabinet to endorse a large and costly package of investments, we consider it important that Cabinet is aware that the benefits may not justify the costs.”
The email criticised the paper for having little detail of what the package consisted of and for not explaining why the proposed investments would solve the city’s problems.
So the package had no idea of the benefits, and no idea of whether it would solve the city’s problems.