A group of young Anti-Expressway protesters from Wellington, supported by Kapiti friends, have confronted Prime Minister John Key outside a business lunch in Levin.
They say they oppose National’s plan to spend $630 million on the new four-lane motorway through Kapiti.
The group was supported by several Kapiti residents who also oppose the proposed Kapiti Expressway.
The question for Mr Key
“We’re here to ask John Key why he wants to spend $630 million on an uneconomic motorway when we’ve got far more important issues facing the country,” said the group’s spokesperson James Green.
“When the Government is spending almost all the available transport funds on a few expensive motorways, and borrowing to afford it, that’s a problem of national significance.” A leaked report prepared by BECA Consultants for the New Zealand Transport Agency last year found that the Expressway had a benefit-cost ratio of just 0.2.
Mr Green said: “The Expressway has no business case – the expected economic benefits are just 20% of the cost of building it.
‘Not too late to pull the plug’
“It’s not too late for John Key to pull the plug on the Expressway and go with the original, more cost-effective solution of building the local Western Link Road and making improvements to the existing SH1.”
“Not only is that a better outcome for Kapiti, it’s a better outcome for New Zealand. The savings of over $400 million could make a big difference if we put that into tackling some of the big challenges facing our future, like the need to actually reduce our dependence on oil.”
“We were pleased to have a chance to talk to some of the people attending the business lunch, many of whom expressed their agreement with our message.”