Road Costs Shock?

 Govt. Agency mum on Expressway costs – until after Election

By Alan Tristram

 Save Kapiti, a community group fighting the Expressway, says Transport Minister Steven Joyce is suppressing news about big costs increases until the election is safely out of the way

Jonathan Gradwell, of Save Kapiti, says he understands from several sources that the project has hit significant cost over runs — around $200 million — which would bring the total cost to $750 million.

Save Kapiti asked the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) early last month for updated provisional costs of the MacKays to Pekapeka section of the Expressway under the Official Information Act (OIA).

NZTA quotes 2009 costs

On 28 October 2011, Jenny Chetwynd,  Regional Director Central for NZTA, advised Save Kapiti by letter under the OIA that the indicative cost was $550 million and ‘this cost estimate was calculated in 2009 and has not been updated since that time.’

She also said updated costs were due to be released within the next few months.

But Mr Gradwell has now called on the Minister of Transport to front up to the public with the updated costs before the election, not after it.

Mr Gradwell says: “With the election around the corner, we now challenge Minister Joyce to front up to the public with an update of estimated costs of this project.

“We understand that Mr Joyce receives a briefing on this project every week from the project ‘Alliance’ team, and we think he will be well aware of the current estimated costings.”

Voters need to ‘make an informed judgement

“We have approached Mr Joyce’s office and asked for the estimated costs to be released urgently to allow the voters to make an informed judgement before the election.

An application for the project to be ‘called in’ is due to be lodged with the Environmental Protection Agency in the next few months. The application must include ‘turn-out costs,’ that is the costs of construction and all mitigation measures proposed to meet the requirements of the Resource Management Act.

“Significantly, this date puts it after the election and around the Christmas/New Year holiday period.” Mr Gradwell says.

“In the interests of transparency and accountability, it is imperative that the minister provide this information to the public during the election campaign.”

Formerly ‘the cheapest’

Mr Gradwell adds: This route was originally chosen because it was estimated in 2009 as being the cheapest (at $380-500m) of the three options under consideration.

“The cost/benefit analysis of the route will be significantly downgraded from its already low rate of return if costs have over run to the extent we understand from sources close to the NZTA project team.

“NZTA have been in the process of investigating and designing this route for nearly two years now and to say that there are no updated estimated costings since 2009 is frankly, beyond belief.”

“If this information is not provided to the public of NZ before the election, that will mean that both in 2008 and 2011, the public will not be given the chance to scrutinise the real costs of this government’s RONS against the rationale for this huge infrastructure spend.”


I’m sure people are getting bored with my comments, I sure am sick of repeating myself.
But here goes again ……………..
This road will never be built, the government know this, they only need to read their own information to confirm what I and others have been saying for the past 12 years.
The International Energy Agency – to quote Gerry Brownlee in 2010 – “The Government considers that the IEA provide the most credible information on the global oil market. The IEA is backed by robust information that is often commercially sensitive or is based on confidential data. The Governments position on Peak Oil, therefore. continues to be that oil production will NOT change significantly until 2030 (Mallard use to say/quote 2037), or until some date after this”
Yet Dr. Fatih Birol the Chief Economist and Head of the Economic Analysis Division of the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Stated on National Radio last May , that the world had passed peak production of crude oil in 2005 – 6 …… confirming everything we have been saying.
So there is only one way the cost of the this never to be built structure can go …. and that is UP, unless we build it the Chinese way and use all the unemployed that massive economic collapse is going to bring, alas labour will go down in cost as people become less ‘valuable’ but materials will only go up or become unavailable.
Joyce and co are ether extremely stupid, or corrupt, and are so locked into the existing paradigm that they can not, or refuse to look at REALITY.
And what do they say about reality? – “look after it or it will look after you”
This Expressway is a distraction, keeping the uninformed general dumb public away from becoming informed about the facts of life, but then that is exactly what you all want, to pretend the planet we have stuffed up can go on supporting your children.
The IEA have also stated in their 2011 report, that to maintain this system in such a way that retirement plans like Kiwi Saver have a finical hope of surviving, we have to continue finding and burning fossil fuels, but the catch 22 is – as they say – if we do continue burning fossil fuels the planet will be uninhabitable for mammals inside of 30 years.
Like I said we have way bigger fish to fry than this distraction. But no one wants to know.

Their original estimates included only one intersection and ZERO homes.
No wonder the costs have blown out.
Now the will skimp on the bunding and noise control.
Bye bye so called “quite” road surface.
We do not want or need this proto-motorway seventy kilometres from WellyToon.