The Government was left with a $47 million contingency in its $6.8 billion NZ Upgrade transport package after $211 million worth of rail projects were put into the package at the last minute.
This was despite repeated warnings from officials the contingency might be too small to pay for any cost blowouts.
A contingency of 0.7% is criminally low.
Those warnings were prescient, as new cost estimates for the transport projects have led the Government to back away from promises to build everything they proposed a little over a year ago – something that could have been avoided had the projects been given larger contingency funding.
So they made the promises despite being warned there would probably not be enough money for them and are now using the lack of money to back away from them.