National unveils $10.5 billion for 10 new highways

Bill English has spoken out against Auckland's housing plan. Photo: NZ Herald
Prime Minister Bill English announced the policy during a visit to Hawke's Bay today. Photo: NZ Herald

The National Party has committed to building 10 new major highways at a cost of $10.5 billion if it is returned to power in September.

Prime Minister Bill English announced the policy during a visit to Hawke's Bay today.

National's seven Roads of National Significance are either complete or being constructed, and Transport Minister Simon Bridges said it was time for "a new generation of nation-building projects".

The 10 new roading projects announced today are:

• Wellsford to Whangarei
• East West Link in Auckland
• Cambridge to Tirau
• Piarere to the foot of the Kaimai Range
• Tauranga to Katikati
• Napier to Hastings
• Manawatu Gorge
• Levin to Sanson
• Christchurch Northern Motorway
• Christchurch to Ashburton

Mr Bridges said the estimated cost of the new projects was $10.5 billion, compared with $12 billion for the previous seven projects.

They would be funded through the National Land Transport Fund and public-private partnerships.

The initial funding had already been committed to in this year's Budget.

Mr Bridges said the selected projects were New Zealand's highest-volume roads. Once upgraded, they were likely to be continuous four-lane highways.

The seven previous projects were the Puhoi-Wellsford highway, the Western Ring Route in Auckland, the Victoria Park Tunnel, the Waikato Expressway, Tauranga's Eastern Link, Wellington's Northern Corridor, and motorways around Christchurch.

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