Today’s long awaited news about the future of the new Melling Interchange is disastrous for the Hutt.
“After eighteen months of needless delay caused by the new Government, the news is almost all bad. The project has been delayed until at least 2029 with no commitment of funding before then.
“Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace is right, this is a slap in the face for the Hutt Valley. It is a vital project and would ease congestion and improve safety, and is a key component of the RiverLink project.
“While it’s good news that the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has chosen a preferred design, ultimately, there is no money committed and the project has been delayed for a least a decade. That is ridiculous.
“Transport Minister Phil Twyford was only too happy to do a photo op in August last year and explain that a new Melling interchange “ticks all the boxes”, but these words have proven very hollow.
“Today’s news comes on the back of the effective cancellation of the Petone to Grenada Link and proves the Labour-led Government is not delivering for the Hutt Valley.
“National committed to fast-track this project at the 2017 election and committed to starting construction within three years if re-elected.
“I’ll be pushing hard for this project as the MP for Hutt South as we need it now, not simply the possibility of it in a decade’s time.”