Media release issued today:
National announces $330 million in new transport projects for Horowhenua and the Kāpiti Coast
National will unlock the economic potential of Horowhenua and Kāpiti by connecting Ōtaki to Wellington’s electric commuter train network and fast-tracking construction of a four-lane expressway between Ōtaki and Levin, National Party Leader Judith Collins has announced.
Ms Collins and National’s Ōtaki candidate Tim Costley announced details of National’s $330 million transport plan for Horowhenua and the Kāpiti Coast at Ōtaki Railway Station today.
National is committed to:
- Electrifying and double-tracking the rail line between Wellington and Ōtaki
- Building a full expressway interchange at Peka Peka
- Completing the Horowhenua Expressway (Ōtaki to Levin)
New spending for these projects will be funded from National’s record $31 billion transport infrastructure plan.
“This is a significant investment in the future of Horowhenua and Kāpiti,” Ms Collins says.
“These projects will generate hundreds of jobs for years to come, giving the local economy the boost it needs to bounce back from the economic crisis that has already seen 212,000 New Zealanders end up on unemployment benefits.
“These world-class road and rail links will free people from the tyranny of congestion and save lives while opening up even more job and growth opportunities by bringing the coast closer to Wellington.”
The previous National-led Government electrified the rail line and extended Wellington’s metro rail network to Waikanae. Now is the time to take the next step and back this rapidly-growing region by extending that network north to Ōtaki, Ms Collins says.
This will allow people living in Manakau, Ōtaki and Te Horo to easily travel to Wellington, rather than relying on the once-a-day Capital Connection service from Palmerston North.
“In time, we will look to electrify and double-track the line to Levin, expanding even further the pool of commuters able to use the service,” Ms Collins says.
Bringing forward construction of the Horowhenua Expressway – one of National’s first-generation Roads of National Significance – will rectify the shameful actions of the Labour-led Government, which cut $5 billion from the state highway budget in 2018 and delayed the progress that had been made on this project under the last National Government.
“National’s Ōtaki candidate Tim Costley and local MP Nathan Guy fought hard to resurrect this highway from the dead, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with supporters from Horowhenua and the Kāpiti Coast, they made it happen,” Ms Collins says.
“Two years of development have been lost and even now, construction is not slated to begin until 2025. National won’t muck around, we will start construction in our first term.”
Adding a full interchange to the Kāpiti Expressway at Peka Peka will allow traffic from Te Horo, Peka Peka and Waikanae to enter and exit the expressway both north and south.
“It was a short-sighted decision to not include an interchange at this fast-growing area,” Ms Collins says. “This is a sensible change that can be done at minimal expense.”
Today’s commitments form part of National’s wider Transport Plan for the Wellington and Lower North Island regions. Further details of this plan will be released on Wednesday.
Is there a similar commitment from the Labour Party?