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Pothole potshots at election road show

National Party Wairarapa candidate Mike Butterick has laid out the party’s plan for local roads with MP and transport spokesperson Simeon Brown at a public meeting in Greytown.

Butterick opened the proceedings last Thursday by acknowledging the two fatalities on Wairarapa roads last week and offered condolences to those affected, before taking government agencies to task for treating consultation “like a tick-box exercise”, which he labelled “undemocratic”.

Brown claimed that current decision-making does not ensure “our transport networks are operating as efficiently and as productively as possible”, which National regards as the key priority.

He also acknowledged that “safety is critically important” but argued it’s necessary to “make sure that all parts of our transport investment are working together instead of just focusing on one priority over another.”

Brown also took potshots at the number of potholes on the region’s roads, quipping “Why do we need speedbumps when we’ve already got inverted ones?”

A National government would “restore road funding”, with the National Land Transport Fund investing in building and maintaining the road network as its top priority, he said.

Brown also promised National would stop speed limit reductions for local road networks, as well as the region’s state highway network.

A Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency ‘MegaMap’ circulated at the meeting that Brown had obtained via the Official Information Act highlighted dozens of local roads marked to have their speeds reduced.

“That clearly shows what the bureaucrats in Wellington think the speed limits should be on every single road in your region – they’ve already decided,” Brown claimed.

“Their view is that it should be 30kmh in practically every street in the town centre … and then any road in a rural area should be 60kmh or 80kmh.”

Butterick later said that these speed reductions would mean people would soon need to take a “cut lunch and an overnight bag” for a day trip to Riversdale.


  1. Most of the public and rate payers have lost confidence in the roading authorities in councils and NZTA. As for the public
    consultations that is a joke because issues raised that affect the Roading should never have got to that point if the roading Authorities had done there job. Accountability and affective leadership is needed.

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Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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