MP: Wood wasting millions on Hillside rail yards

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown says Kiwis are getting used to Transport Minister Michael Wood’s “profligate spending”. Times file photo Wayne Martin

New Zealanders are fast getting used to Michael Wood’s profligate spending, with $85 million to revive rail workshops in Dunedin just the latest instalment, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Transport officials advised against Minister Wood’s extravagant $85 million wagon assembly yard in December, saying that the wagons could simply be imported at a much cheaper cost,” says Brown, the MP for Pakuranga.

Officials estimate that assembling the wagons in New Zealand would cost approximately 30 per cent more than importing them.

“Minister Wood is very experienced at finding ways to waste taxpayers’ dollars on transport projects that don’t stack up. Unfortunately, he lacks the ability to deliver projects which actually improve the lives of New Zealanders as they try to move around,” says Brown.

“He found $785m to waste on a cycle bridge across the Auckland Harbour, which subsequently got scrapped – but not before $51m was wasted just thinking about the idea.

“He has also spent a further $50m so far talking about light rail in Auckland.

“These numbers quickly add up, with no benefit to the taxpayer or to people trying to get around New Zealand.

“Minister Wood needs to start delivering projects to meet the day-to-day needs of people using our transport networks, rather than pursuing his ideological plans to resurrect last century’s rail yards.”