Govt better at announcements than 'actually building stuff', Paula Bennett argues

Source: 1News

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says she's not convinced the Government will pull through on its whopping multibillion dollar infrastructure announcement.

The Government is spending $12 billion total in infrastructure. Yesterday, officials outlined how $8 billion of the package will be spent. 

Most attention is on the roads, with $2.2 billion being spent in Auckland and another $3.5 billion allocated to Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown.

Rail will also get a $1.1 billion boost, with the bulk in Auckland, as well as long-awaited improvements to links between Wellington and Wairarapa and Wellington and Palmerston North.

But Ms Bennett took a sceptical stance today as she appeared on TVNZ1's Breakfast alongside New Zealand First MP Shane Jones, who also serves as a minister in the coalition Government. 

"They're good at announcements, they're not good at actually building stuff," Ms Bennett said.

"Will they get built? Because they weren't a priority," she said, also criticising the Government for cancelling projects - some of which were consented and funded, others that were set to be funded in National's next Budget had the party retained power.

"I'm not convinced we're going to get the roads that are really needed."

Ms Bennett also said workers left for Australia and elsewhere overseas to find work in construction because no roads were being built here, so "now we have to try and lure them back".

"That's a delay again and so we're just seeing delay, delay for what could have gone two years ago."

Mr Jones said people "want to see demonstrable change", and the projects named in yesterday's funding announcement will achieve that.

"These roads will change the lives of areas where I come form in the regions," he said. 

Ms Bennett said she didn't disagree with her colleague. 

"I just wish they'd happened a couple of years ago," she said.