National's Manawatu Gorge Betrayal
New Zealand First is aghast that the Manawatu Gorge has been closed “indefinitely” by National and is calling on the government to come up with a support package for affected towns.
“Nothing sums up the ineptitude of National more than the Manawatu Gorge being closed, which has severed SH3 and cut vital links in the lower North Island,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“If this was the Auckland Harbour Bridge the government would be all over it like a rash. But because this is in provincial New Zealand it is treated like an also-ran.
“We’ve got news for Messrs English, Joyce and Bridges. The regions will no longer put up with being treated as second-class citizens.
“Whoever has been project managing this needs to be fired because if what Mr Bridges says is true, about serious geotechnical issues, then how come it wasn’t picked up two months ago, or when other slips struck in 2015, 2012, 2011 and earlier?
“What is for certain is that the Manawatu Gorge closure is like an earthquake upon businesses and their staff. Those near the Gorge and in Woodville have hung on but now deserve help from this government because this decision is a disaster for them.
“New Zealand First takes this seriously and our local MP’s, Ron Mark and Darroch Ball, will write to the Prime Minister for solutions. We also know how vital SH3 is and we expect to make a more detailed policy announcement quite soon,” says Mr Peters.