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Attica Project Candidates Michael Kay for Ōtaki and Mike ILES for Mana hit back at National Leader Judith Collins for announcing Nationals idea for the new O2NL (Ōtaki to North of Levin) Expressway & rail for Kāpiti Coasts economic plan spending $330 million in new transport projects for Horowhenua and the Kāpiti Coast if elected.
“We’ve got a few politicians making comments on how they are going to finish it and what it’s going to cost,” said Mike ILES.
The announcement made the Attica Project Candidates concerned because he believes the spend is not going to be promised after several promises being broken.
“That project has been sitting there with mothballs all over it for eleven years, and the announcement troubled me a bit because it is everything that we have accepted as a district to do which is electrifying the rail from Waikanae all the way through to Palmerston North. When I campaigned for the regional council it was one of the biggest things that I thought was shovel ready as they now talk about as the new term. Still, to me, it’s something simple because you’re only putting a double-track system next to the original tracking system and then you’re electrifying it,” said Michael Kay.
The Ōtaki to Levin area is in a border town complication meaning the two towns mix with Horowhenua and, Wellingtons regions restricting the access to healthcare for individuals travelling abroad train lines.
On terms of bus transportation to and from each township and abroad, the Horizons regional council does supply buses, and, the Capital Connection Trains which is a commuter service operated by KiwiRail that runs weekdays between Palmerston North and Wellington. Michael Kay said ‘we do not have the service that would be good enough for students to use.’
“You don’t spend all day in lectures and things like that. Sometimes it’s on;y half a day and Wellington is just an amazing thing for our young people, even any age can re-school. That in mind being able to access healthcare to and from both DHBs (Direct Health Boards) and being able to access the ability to upskill. These are huge things, and it raises the opportunities.” said Michael Kay.
‘It’s a marvellous announcement’ – a lack of commitment from National; Michael believes why the extension to where it is at Ōtaki going north of Levin is $844 million as a total cost.
The electrifying of the railways it’s self would cost more than $330 million mainly due to the systems like technology and longevity of work that’d needed to be put into it. The legitimacy of the announcement hasn’t got a date to start or finish except ‘spending $330 million if elected.’
“It’s treating us like we’re a little bit silly,” said Michael Kay.
Mike ILES speaks about his father-in-law driving steam engines for a living many years ago and the services involved to run basically a free service that the Government provided to the public every day of the week.
“He always said that the railways is a service provided by the Government so not a user-pay thing, it’s a service that’s actually provided. So, the Government of the day should be paid to put that service in and each time the Government changes – they shouldn’t just stop – okay, we’ve got to that point we’re going to stop. The service should continue, and that should be provided,” said Mike ILES.
If someone is elected to put $330 million towards $2.2bln worth of projects, people should consider why they’d vote for that particular proposition.
References used in this article are thanks to RNZ.