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Fund Transmission Gully By Scrapping The Waterview 'Tunnel'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Fund Transmission Gully By Scrapping The Waterview 'Tunnel'

With 88.6 percent of respondents backing the inland option for Transmission Gully, Federated Farmers has found a way that would all but fund the $1 billion project. That is scrapping the tunnel option for Auckland's Waterview connection and building it as a conventional road instead.

"Economic decisions are about generating maximum value from the available spend. Given the real economic constraints we face right now as a country, there is little room for gold plating," says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.

"Federated Farmers fully backs Auckland's Waterview connection. It is needed, it makes sense and it stacks up economically, but not as a 3.2 kilometre tunnel, which adds a staggering $1 billion extra to the construction cost.

"That $1 billion alone would pay for Transmission Gully. You can literally have two routes for the price of one. Auckland gets a much needed route and inter-island freight benefits from a more efficient route through Wellington generating economic activity in the provincial economy.

"Given the economic return for the Waterview connection is the same if built as a road or as a tunnel, it seems bizarre the most expensive option is the preferred option. New Zealand cannot afford this degree of fiscal largesse and contrary to the words of Auckland Mayor, John Banks, it's not too late to save that $1 billion by building it as a road.

"I am certain the new Government is now running a ruler over all existing programmes with this in mind. A disciplined approach by Government frees up money to be better invested where economic gains will be maximised. That includes water storage that will generate the exports we need," Mr Nicolson concluded.

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