NZTA have announced today that they will pay $5.6 million to get all the consents for the new Melling interchange, the flood protection, and the urban revitalisation work all at the same time. This is very sensible and is what I’ve been pushing for since the Melling delay decision was announced in April.
“This is a real testament to people power – thousands of Hutt locals have signed my petition, attended a public meeting in June, and came to a protest rally at Melling in July.
“While today’s announcement is good news the fundamental problem of Melling not being funded until 2029 or later still remains. The government has cut $5 billion from the state highway budget. In recent days they have signalled some money will be redirected from light rail back to state highways. If they hadn’t cut the highway budget then there could be spades in the ground at Melling now.
“Melling is a critical project for the Hutt Valley and I will keep fighting hard as the MP for Hutt South to get this project expedited. National has committed that we will get on with it straight away if we have the privilege of being elected to government in 2020.
“We need to keep the pressure on to bring the funding date forward. It’s all very well having consents in place but if there is no money, there is no project. That’s my top transport priority for the Hutt from now on.”