Transmission Gully opening day cost $337k

Wed, 15 Jun, 2022

“As the cost of living crisis bites, Government has once again shown contempt for taxpayers with Waka Kotahi spending $337,000 on an open day for Transmission Gully,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“Parliamentary Written Questions from ACT have shown that the opening day came in at whopping $336,712. Michael Wood has clearly lost control of the purse strings in his department and it’s time he took responsibility.

“That’s enough money for 105 families to fill up their petrol tank once a fortnight for a year, enough to fund five nurses and enough for three kilometres of asphalt.

“Inflation is caused by too much money chasing too few goods. When Government throws around cash like this, it drives up the cost of everything.

“NZTA, also known as Waka Kotahi has become one of the worst offenders. It has increased its communications team from 32 staff to 88 – 65 of whom earn $100,000 or more. It’s also come under fire for spending $30,000 on five giant zeros that light up.

“Transmission Gully is a great piece of infrastructure that was desperately needed for Wellington, but it could have been celebrated by opening it a day earlier and letting people drive on it. That would have cost nothing.

“This is why ACT would zero base the public service. The justifications for each department and ministry will have to fit with a robust view of what government can do:

  • Can the private sector provide this service?
  • Is there a genuine conflict between citizens’ interests that cannot be resolved without Government intervention?
  • What are the costs and benefits of this activity, and do the benefits outweigh the costs?

“ACT would be amazed if we couldn’t get the size of Government back to where it was in 2017 by eliminating activities that don’t fit with these simple questions. In fact, we suspect whole departments would go.

“Michael Wood needs to explain to taxpayers how one day cost this much and NZTA needs to break down the costs and explain every cent it spent and how it justifies it.”