National announces $330 million in new transport projects for Horowhenua and the Kapiti Coast

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 5, 2020

National says it will connect Otaki to Wellington‘s electric commuter train network and fast-track construction of a four-lane expressway between Otaki and Levin if it gets elected in September.

National Party Leader Judith Collins and National‘s Otaki candidate Tim Costley announced details of National‘s $330 million transport plan for Horowhenua and the Kapiti Coast on Monday.

National says it is committed to:

  • Electrifying and double-tracking the rail line between Wellington and Otaki

  • Building a full expressway interchange at Peka Peka

  • Completing the Horowhenua Expressway (Otaki to Levin)

New spending for these projects will be funded from National‘s record $31 billion transport infrastructure plan.

“This is a significant investment in the future of Horowhenua and Kapiti,” Collins says.

“These projects will generate hundreds of jobs for years to come, giving the local economy the boost it needs to bounce back from the economic crisis that has already seen 212,000 New Zealanders end up on unemployment benefits.

The previous National-led Government electrified the rail line and extended Wellington‘s metro rail network to Waikanae. Now is the time to take the next step and back this rapidly growing region by extending that network north to Otaki, Collins says.

This will allow people living in Manakau, Otaki and Te Horo to easily travel to Wellington, rather than relying on the once-a-day Capital Connection service from Palmerston North.

“In time, we will look to electrify and double-track the line to Levin, expanding even further the pool of commuters able to use the service,” Collins says.

Bringing forward construction of the Horowhenua Expressway – one of National‘s first-generation Roads of National Significance – will rectify the actions of the Labour-led Government, which cut $5 billion from the state highway budget in 2018 and delayed the progress that had been made on this project under the last National Government.

“Two years of development have been lost and even now, construction is not slated to begin until 2025. National won‘t muck around, we will start construction in our first term.”

Adding a full interchange to the Kapiti Expressway at Peka Peka will allow traffic from Te Horo, Peka Peka and Waikanae to enter and exit the expressway both north and south.

“It was a short-sighted decision to not include an interchange at this fast-growing area,” Collins says. “This is a sensible change that can be done at minimal expense.”

The commitments form part of National‘s wider Transport Plan for the Wellington and Lower North Island regions. Further details of this plan will be released on Wednesday.