One of the greatest robberies (and I do not exaggerate) perpetrated by this government is the theft of money raised locally through the implementation of the 5c/litre regional fuel levy. In Hawkes Bay the amount raised and sitting in the Regional Roading Fund was around $81m. The HB Regional Council had drawn up a regional roading plan that outlined five strategically important roading projects that this money was going to fund.
Purely co-incidently, two of these roads are being built as part of the government’s economic stimulation package, but the others are not. Two of the roads scheduled for a complete upgrade as part of the regional development plan would have had a significant impact on diverting heavy trucks away from the scenic Marine Parade and onto the current back route to the port. The Marine Parade is the jewel in Napier’s tourism crown, and yet amazed tourists – and locals – have their pleasant strolls around the Art Deco icons and earthquake memorials interrupted by thundering trucks on the way to the port. Amazing.
So where has this money gone? From the Regional Roading fund into the National Roading Fund. So money raised in Hawkes Bay from Hawkes Bay residents could well be used to build roads in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. If Hawkes Bay is to grow as a region then it needs to ensure that its roading infrastructure is world class. How is this to happen if the government steals our money? We want our money back Mr Joyce.!
You know what really annoys the hell out of me – the people of the Bay are STILL paying this 5c per litre Regional fuel levy.!
PS – there are also rumours that the government is going to close down the Gisborne to Napier rail link. So much for regional development.!