The fuss made over the proposed motorway tunnels going through the suburb Mt Albert and through to Waterview reminds all of us of the elitism that rules the Labour Party and some of those that vote for them.
It is OK to put open motorways throughout Auckland through a number of different suburbs, some of them wealthy and some of them less so but not through Mt Albert, where the former Prime Minister lived?
Aparently yes, if you are a Labour Party member.
We are all well aware of driving along the Southern Motorway, through suburb after suburb along an above ground piece of tarmac, sometimes ten lanes in width.
True, motorways can now be built better above ground, with noise walls and noise dampening surfaces but they are a necessary evil.
The last link in Auckland's motorway system, the Waterview connection is the most crucial part of the system because it completes a road system designed in the 1950s to move future traffic.
The proposal by Labour was for a $3 billion plus unfunded tunnel of approximately 4km that was never going to go ahead under Helen Clark's reign of terror because it would have cost her votes and possibly her power. So it was a political decision to stall the motorway rather than a practical one to go forward and progress-hardly surprising given Labour's track record.
Labour took 9 years to get something done and failed. This left Mt Albert residents affected by the new road in limbo and it left Auckland as a whole losing 10s of millions of dollars a year because of lost time due to extra travel around the Mt Albert area.
What makes Mt Albert residents and surrounds such special people, nothing really, they aren't.
It was simply Labours elitist political approach that made it seem normal to them that spending more than $3 billion of taxpayer money on Mt Albert tunnels instead of half a billion on an open highway to keep political power and expecting people in South Auckland (ironically where Labour has BIG support), where that 10 lane highway I mentioned above cuts through, to pay for it.
We now have a decision and the road (PDF)is going to be built.
About bloody time.
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