What reports has she received on developments in Waikato roading?
I have seen a report in the Waikato Times noting that National’s deputy transport spokesperson, David Bennett, has backed Maurice Williamson’s exuberant statements about tolling. He went so far as to say tolling is a “big vote-winner”. Unfortunately for him, 24 hours later, there was yet another clarification. David Bennett has now been muzzled, and, as the Dominion Post would say, he is choking on his own spurt of honesty.
What reports has she seen about tolling the existing Auckland harbour bridge?
Well, the stories go on and on. Today in the New Zealand Herald columnist Bryan Rudman talks about how North Shore MP Wayne Mapp has gone silent on his campaign for a toll on the existing harbour bridge. Not $3, not $5, but $6 a trip is what Mr Mapp has been proposing. That is $12 a day—at 5 days a week, that is $60 a week. The tax cut is gone and so is some of the grocery money.
When will the Minister of Transport outline Labour’s tolling policy, which she has failed to do after repeated questions in this House; or is she as embarrassed about her tolling policy as she is about Labour’s exhaust tax, whereby it plans to put a $10,000 tax on the average family car, as outlined in an official Government document that I showed the House yesterday?
All of the rest of New Zealand has heard Labour’s tolling policy. Labour’s tolling policy is set out in the very legislation this Government passed in 2003. I wonder whether Mr English would now like to tell the House—and give the House a little bit of honesty—what he said about roads that do not have a free alternative. He said: “We wouldn’t toll roads unless there was a free alternative.” I draw his attention to the commentary of the Land Transport Management Bill where the National Party said the Minister has to ensure there is a feasible untolled alternative road available for road users. “We believe”—this is the National Party—“that this provision will make it most unlikely that toll roads will receive any investment in New Zealand.” So what Bill English said about there being another alternative is not true.
I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I may have misheard; I thought Mr English just said “That’s right.” Is that correct?