Better roads, better business

I’d left plenty of time for a trip to Dunedin on Monday in case the road was busy.

I needn’t have worried.

Traffic heading north was only intermittent and I drove more than 40 kilometres before I needed to pass another car travelling south.

There were more vehicles as I got closer to Dunedin but not enough to cause problems.

Reports from further north told a very different story, including an 8km queue of traffic near Otaki.

Holiday traffic exacerbates traffic problems but better roads aren’t just required to help people get in and out of cities  more easily at long weekends.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce points out, they’re better for business:

. . . we have a lousy transport link between Wellington and the Horowhenua. You open that up, just like we’re doing with the Waikato Expressway south of Auckland, and suddenly businesses can develop along that highway in those towns leading to the capital city. The National Party’s very focused on that. We have actually got a number of projects underway – the Kapiti Expressway, Transmission Gully – but there’s a whole lot of people on the left who have got their heads in the sand about this, and I think it’s actually very sad, because they’re focussing on the area closer to Wellington, but I want to focus on those regions in Horowhenua and the Manawatu who would have great economic benefits out of that one piece of infrastructure. . .

The Opposition criticise money spent improving the road north of Auckland  and labelled it the holiday highway.

It does provide access to and from some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. But it’s also the arterial route between Northland businesses and markets in the city, further south and, via the port, further afield.

If we want the country moving forward, literally and economically, we need better roads.

2 Responses to Better roads, better business

  1. I’m always struck by the difference between the good roads in the South Island and the poor roads north of Auckland where once off the main drag, so many are still metal roads.

    Like

  2. JC says:

    Poor soils, isolation, drainage and drought issues plus land ownership meant the North missed out on 100 years of the farming boom and ensured the demand for infrastructure was low.

    Massively increased forestry, dairying and tourism now is behind the belated catchup with roads like the so called “holiday highway”.

    I’ve a soft spot for the North.. my brother and I used to holiday up there in the early 60s, the wife and I honeymooned up there and I worked on a big project there for several years in the 90s. What we would call “extreme poverty” is for some residents in the bush “minding my own business” to people whose births haven’t been registered and don’t have any official connection to the modern world.

    JC

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