$300 million Motorway shock

On the Coastal Express with way-out costs

The latest cost blow-out in the Wellington Northern Corridor motorway project raises further questions about why the Government is committing $12 billion of taxpayer money to projects with low or negative returns for the economy, says Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

She says figures presented by the Transport Agency to the Regional Council confirm that specific motorway projects within the Wellington Northern Corridor have already increased by $231m, more than 10% since announced by the National Government in 2009.

Answers to parliamentary questions lodged by Ms Genter confirmed that the estimated total cost of the Wellington Levin to airport motorway had increased from $2.1-2.4b to $2.4-2.7b.

Business case ‘doesn’t stack up

“The business case for the Wellington Northern Corridor didn’t stack up before this cost blow-out, and it makes even less sense now,” said Ms Genter.

“$300 million is the entire cost of providing public transport to the region for three years. We could double bus and train services and decrease fares just out of the increase in of the cost of this ridiculous motorway.

“It’s smarter to invest in better buses and trains. They not only move more people around the region at lower cost, they also free up our existing roads for cars and freight. Targeted improvements to the route can address safety and pinch points much more effectively than throwing billions at a new motorway.

“Prior to this cost blow-out, the airport to Levin motorway had a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 1.2 – that is, for every dollar spent, just $1.20 of benefits would be realised, which is a very low level of return on investment.

Benefit cost ratios lagging

“NZTA has failed to update its BCRs since 2009 despite falling traffic volumes, but even assuming the same level of benefits as modelled in 2009, the business cases must now be significantly worse.

“We don’t have to pour billions of dollars of taxpayer money down the drain on unneeded motorways that only lock in our dependence on imported oil.

“There are plenty of smart, green transport projects that make economic and environmental sense that are crying out for funding,” said Ms Genter.

Related links

Julie Anne Genter on the Roads of National Signifcance in General Debate

Subject: Transport



You’re subscribed to all press releases, sent by the Green Team in Parliament.

Unsubscribe from this email list

Change subscriptions and update your details – subscribe to email newsletters and more

Unsubscribe from all emails

Green Party Parliamentary Office, Parliament Buildings, Wellington, New Zealand

Green Party Parliamentary Office, Parliament Buildings, Wellington,


”…for every dollar spent, just $1.20 of benefits would be realised, which is a very low level of return on investment.”
Sounds like a wonderful return on investment.
Try getting 20% interest on your money these days at your bank.

You look young Julie, so I will cut you some slack for not understanding the true predicament we are in.
But first on the topic of the 12 billion spend by your government on roads, you clearly do not understand that for Kiwi Saver, (you know the savings scam based on environment destroying growth) well for Kiwi Saver to earn enough profit in the 40 years time span Russell Norman was talking about during the elections, then New Zealand (and the rest of the world, were KS funds are invested) must have growth, part of growth is new roads, new subdivisions, more oil wells, more fracking, more ships sinking off the coast of New Zealand, more children, etc.
So for the greens to be bitching about there being to much growth, yet backing Kiwi Saver seems a tad confusing ???
So far every politician I point this stuff out to, has been incapable of giving me an informed answer, I know KS is not government guaranteed, but being as you lot promoted it during your election campaign, do you have a microscopic amount of integrity left? You have only had your snout in the public trough for about a year, so maybe you haven’t been tainted with the same brush as the other 120(?) MPs So please answer my question?
If the Green Party is pro the environment, and Kiwi Saver is 100% stuffing said environment, how do you feel about this glaring oxymoron?
Surly the ‘greenest’ thing to do would be NOT invest in KS?
If making a truthful comment in public is against your party rules, feel free to ring me – 0274 301 574