Kiwis are sick and tired of all the potholes peppering our roads, says Shane Reti. Photo / File
A_300922aw01 Kiwis are sick and tired of all the potholes peppering our roads, says Shane Reti. Photo / File
A_SUP010817NAGpotholes2 It is a fair assumption to say Northland has some of the worst roads
in New Zealand, says Shane Reti. Photo / NZME
Many people refer to the pothole-littered State Highway 1 between Whangārei and Auckland as “the goat track”.
Instead of improving the quality of the road surface, or the much-needed four-lane upgrade, we have instead been promised more “sticks” in the middle of the road.
My fellow National MPs and I are hearing from people every day saying the roads are the worst they have ever seen. Kiwis are sick and tired of all the potholes peppering our roads up and down the country, they are damaging vehicles and causing havoc for motorists.
Last week, the National Party launched a petition seeking better Waka Kotahi NZTA management and maintenance of our roads. We also launched “Pothole of the week”, encouraging people to send us the worst potholes in their region – some of these have been quite horrifying to see.
Northlanders complain that our roads are the worst in the country, but I also hear the same from other regions. So where is the worst region for potholes?
I put this question to Transport Minister Michael Wood by asking for the number of potholes repaired for each region per kilometre of state highway. From the information I received, it seems that Northland has the fourth worst stretch of highway in the country.
Taranaki, Gisborne and Waikato are the unfortunate highways that take the top three spots – not something they will be celebrating.
There are several ways to look at the data I received from the Transport Minister. On one level, it represents the good work from local contractors who are actually fixing the potholes. On the other hand, it could also represent the poor road quality and the heavy usage that caused the potholes in the first place.
What would also be interesting to see is the number of potholes per kilometre that are not repaired – but these figures have been challenging to find.
Instead of focusing on the basics and fixing the large number of potholes that still scatter roads up and down the country, the Government’s attention and money has been going elsewhere – mainly on pet projects.
Some of the most startling waste from the transport budget has gone to things such as $51 million for a cancelled cycle bridge in Auckland, $30,000 for five “0” sign props not used for anything except for pictures, and 1000 extra Waka Kotahi NZTA staff in five years. I wonder how many potholes these three examples alone could have fixed.
I think it is a fair assumption to say that Northland has some of the worst roads in New Zealand, and I encourage everyone to take part in our “Pothole of the Week” campaign so that the Government can hear and see your frustrations loud and clear. Please be safe if and when you’re taking photos on the road.
I am grateful for all the local contractors who repair our potholes in Northland – I just wish they had less work to do.