Joyce Rejects Puhoi Alternative


Transport minister Steven Joyce says the Puhoi highway has a benefit-cost ratio of “greater than one, with wider economic benefits accordingly.”

Quizzed in parliament this afternoon following today’s announcement for a highway that will cost more than $1.9b , The Minister says he and the NZTA have rejected CBT’s alternative option of safety improvements for Dome Valley and Schedewys Hill.

“I have two views. Firstly, I have seen some of the numbers, and the numbers I have seen so far seem incorrect and out of date. The second issue is that the volumes specification of the existing road is nowhere near the capacity required for that highway, which carries something like 24,000 people per day, plus very, very significant freight.”

Joyce: Not just an holiday for highways but for every day

The Minister laughed off the jibe that it was a “holiday highway,”as first coined by Mike Lee.

“I think you are being a bit condescending to the people of Northland and northern Auckland, ” he told Labour’s Darren Hughes.

Here is a video of the exchange:

Full details of NZTA plans and costings

The announcement and map




  1. antz says:

    urgh! by now he cannot possibly get any dumber.

  2. DanC says:

    Why is it that this has to happen? What secret is hiding?

  3. No to Puford extension! says:

    Steven Joyce’s Puford extension is a complete waste of taxpayers money. Again, this Minister of Transport proves he has is out of touch with the real world of transport.

    Perhaps the trucking lobby’s considerable donations to the National Party coffers have made him very biased?

  4. karl says:

    “and the numbers I have seen so far seem incorrect and out of date”

    Unlike you, Mr Joyce, other people in the public realm have a) not the ability to selectively pick and choose which numbers they like b) just order up a million-dollar study to prove their personal favorite arguments.

    “greater than one, with wider economic benefits accordingly.”

    “After we were done rigging the assessment process, the numbers are now above negative.”

    Seriously, that is what it IS. Wider economic benefits have not even existed as a benefit class except in research papers. They are the equivalent of a phlogiston-theory - trying to quantify an observable effect, but flailing about for HOW to quantify it.

    And where do we use this totally untested metric for the first time? On the most contentious motorway project of the whole country - Puhoi-Wellsford. Where does the minister resist even the NOTION of including wider economic benefits in the calcs - on the largest PT project proposed (CBD tunnel).

  5. BD says:

    This isn’t a surprise guys joyce rejecting the Puhoi Alternative. He obviously wants the project built it means so much to him and the rest of the useless National Party. The only way the project is likely to not be built is if there is a huge public out cry regarding this, like petrol price rises and pressure to build the CBD railway loop grows.

    If you put all this together this is the only way we will get by. Holiday Highway is a waste of space remember the phrase “We cannot keep building motorways forever”.

  6. Matt L says:

    This is actually interesting in that its the first time he has given people figures for the road (although they do seem high compared to vehicle numbers). It is interesting because in the past he has claimed that more people drive that road a day than use the entire Auckland rail network and that is a reason why we should build it instead of using the money for the CBD tunnel. Now even the most basic of calculations show that the rail network carries the same but if you take out the amount of days the network is closed you have a much higher number of train users.

  7. GJA says:

    @BD - That is a bit of a cheap shot in saying that the National party is useless, I do not agree with SJs thinking, but the rest of them have done much more for NZ than Labour in the previous 9 years - that is if you exclude all the uneconomic handouts they given to the people - handouts that NZ cannot afford.

    At least with Mr Joyce bringing the Puhoi road onto the agenda, we have the opportunity to discuss the rail tunnel, so let’s rather focus on that, than making unfounded/general statements.

  8. Cam says:

    Puhoi carries 24,000 a day? Where does he get his figures?

  9. Tim A says:

    page 26

    the above document only shows what traffic goes through a point, but doesn’t prove that 24000 vehicles drive from puhoi to wellsford because there are no telemetry sites reported to count cars on the streches of roads being replaced by this exspensive road. but there might be count but they aren’t public .

  10. BD says:

    OK GJA, I have seen the affects of building motorways.

    Take European countries for example like the UK, has anyone heard of the M25 motorway around London, people say that this is know as the worlds biggest carpark because it gets reguarly congested, it did have some positive benefits in its early years like removing traffic off local roads but this eventually got short lived, and the local roads ended up being congested.

    A similar thing will happen with Holiday Highway one day, I picture a once tranqui environment, becoming noisy with thousands of cars and trucks thundering past.

    The bottomline line is guys even the NZTA recommended this project shouldn’t be built as it has a very low benefit ratio, but because National are willing to put their money where their mouth is they choose to support the route.

    I would be extremely upset if this was built, this would feel like the end of the world to me, as us the people had a chance to show the National government whos seems to treat the country as huge business. One there will be a point where everyone will suffer, I mean if petrol prices keep rising and we don’t find an alternative source of energy to run our cars on, all of the proposed RONS will become white elephants before any of us know it.

    Yeah so basicaly GJA, your say at least National are doing something about, they are not doing anything!. They are only doing stuff they want to do, what they think the people want, not what the people of this country want.

    So go figure, every time public transport improvements are mentioned this falls to death ears, at least Labour did something about this in their 9 years. Go figure.

  11. Joyce's Puford extension! says:

    His 24,000 people a day + freight is grossly incorrect. Why does Steven Joyce have to lie all the time?

    He cannot be trusted. Roading and Trucking lobbies must have very large donations for the Nats again.

  12. Stephen Spooner says:

    This proposed highway is a waste of space and money.
    Let the money go to a project such as The proposed Clifford Bay southern Cook Strait ferry terminal to replace Picton
    Benefits include:
    1 hour shorter ship sailing time, that is 2.5 tonnes of fuel saved each way.
    1 hour approx less rail freighttime Clifford Bay to CHCH. Approx 150 litres saved each freight trip.
    45 minutes saved for cars buses trucks enroute to CHCH.
    Only a minor increase in travel time from Clifford bay to Nelson.
    Each Ferry can complete 4 return trips in 24 hours compared to 3 return trips at present.
    Rail route to CHCH can have longer, more effective trains as no steep climb out of Picton.
    This is the sort of project that needs to be completed, then the whole country can benefit from the savings in fuel and time.
    If the traffic planners are really obsessed with saving motorists valuable time, then free left turns at city and suburban intersections should do the trick.

  13. karl says:

    I fully support things like the Clifford Bay proposal - of course Steven Joyce will not even hear of it, as it isn’t in his area of interest compared to Puhoi. The GPS allocates a total of 5 million (!) for the three coming years to rail/sea-freight improvements. That might buy you half a new seawall at Clifford Bay, I guess.

    “If the traffic planners are really obsessed with saving motorists valuable time, then free left turns at city and suburban intersections should do the trick.”

    Thanks, but we already have had enough of these horrible pedestrian-intimidators.

    The only way they work reasonably is with a raised pedestrian crossing over them, and that doesn’t often get done, because buses and trucks can’t easily use them afterwards.


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