Wednesday, April 17, 2024

National launches anti-pothole campaign

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Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, left, and Botany MP and National Party leader Christopher Luxon were in East Tamaki on Sunday to draw attention to the growing problem caused by potholes in the country’s roads. Times photo Chris Harrowell

People fed up with the deteriorating state of local roads are being asked to highlight the problem by exposing the worst potholes in the community.

Botany MP and National Party leader Christopher Luxon and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown were in East Tamaki last Sunday for a press conference to launch the party’s ‘Pothole of the Week’ campaign.

They want Kiwis to sign a petition as well as send in photos of potholes in their area via National’s Facebook page “so Transport Minister Michael Wood hears their frustrations loud and clear”.

Luxon and Brown spoke to reporters near the location of a pothole in Cryers Road which had been patched over but not fixed.

When asked if the job of fixing potholes falls to local councils, not Governments, Brown replied it’s a job for both entities.

“The reality is the Government funds councils to fix potholes as well and what we’re saying is get the basics right,” he said.

“Fix our roads. Don’t just lower speed limits left, right, and centre, which is effectively what this Government is doing.”

Brown, the National Party’s transport spokesperson, says Kiwis are tired of potholes peppering New Zealand’s roads, damaging vehicles and causing havoc for motorists.

“We’re hearing from people every day who say the roads are the worst they’ve ever seen them.

“We’re asking Kiwis to sign our petition and send us pictures of the potholes plaguing their community so the Transport Minister can see just how bad things are.

“Each week we will highlight the worst pothole with the aim of getting the Government to sort the issue.”

He says potholes cause damage to vehicles and are a safety hazard which is why they need to be fixed.

“It goes without saying people should only take photos of potholes if and when it’s safe to do so.

“Labour is far too focused on its pet projects like Auckland light rail and has forgotten about the basics.”

Brown says Kiwis want the Government to fix potholes instead of spending $4.7 million to advertise its ‘Road to Zero’ road safety plan, $51m on the cancelled cycle bridge across the Waitemata Harbour, or up to $29.2 billion on light rail in Auckland.

“Minister Woods needs to stop wasting money on his pet projects and get the potholes fixed.”

After taking questions on the pothole campaign, Luxon was asked for his thoughts on subjects including the nationwide results of Saturday’s local election.

The results are seen as a swing to the centre-right politically and a sign of dissatisfaction with the Labour Government.

Luxon said: “What the results show us is New Zealanders fundamentally feel like we do, that the country is heading in the wrong direction.

“It’s a great country with huge potential but we’re going the wrong way.

“What this says is there’s a real mood for change.

“Everyone who’s been elected has to get on and get things done for their local communities.

“That’s what people want. They want a Government that can get things done.”

People can sign National’s petition at www.national.org.nz/fixthepotholes and send in photos of potholes in their community via the party’s Facebook page.

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