Phil Twyford had another go at the Puhoi-Wellsford project in parliament yesterday – interestingly this time with Maurice Williamson answering the questions:
You can read the transcript of the exchange here.
I thought the most interesting part was the answer to the last question Mr Twyford asked:
Phil Twyford: Is the Minister aware of a 2008 report prepared by Sinclair Knight Merz consultants—the current consultants working on the Pūhoi to Wellsford project—that said that “the scope for substantial economic growth with the upgrading of SH1 is limited.”, and “Even a significant increase in this contribution of the project [to tourism] would be modest when set against the likely costs of road upgrading.”, and does he agree with the project’s consultants on this matter?
Hon MAURICE WILLIAMSON: I am aware that when any huge projects of the nature of the roads of national significance are proposed, a wide range of views are held. Those who are opposed to building roading networks come out with some of the most shonky figures to try to prove why you should not do them, and those who support them come out with their numbers. I think the numbers that the New Zealand Transport Agency is using, which are well founded, well analysed, and well based on, are the actual numbers that this House should give some credence to.
The “shonky figures” referred to come from this report, and in particular the section of that report shown below:
The really interesting thing is that the same consultants who prepared this 2008 report are still the lead consultants providing NZTA with advice on Puhoi-Wellsford. I wonder whether Mr Williamson’s comments were merely ignorant of this fact, or whether he accidentally let slip that the project really is based on “shonky” advice?