The Transmission Gully interim review has found serious flaws at the planning stage of the 27km highway, “undermining” the successful completion of the four-lane motorway north of Wellington, according to Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Transport Minister Michael Wood.
Grant Robertson said the review found the public-private partnership (PPP) established under the last National government lacked the proper rigour and consideration.
The review was focused on how the project was awarded for the agreed price, whether the price was realistic, and whether the risks then identified were appropriately considered.
When announcing the review in August last year, the government said Transmission Gully would open by September 2021 but will cost another $208m to build, taking the cost to $1.25bn. Originally the project’s cost was put at $850m, but Covid lockdowns set it spiralling upwards.
At that point in 2020 the government was said to have “slammed” the delays and increased costs.
But hey – remember that Phil Twyford had already had three years as Transport Minister to expedite the project . Yet all he did was order a review. Continue reading “Here’s hoping Transport Minister applies Transmission Gully lessons (and delays) to Light Rail project in Auckland”
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has had a busy two days. Hard on the heels of echoing the title of a book edited by academic writer Manying Ip to headline an important policy speech, she was announcing the visit here this week of Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne for ministerial consultations.
That should be a fun event, especially Mahuta’s explaining some of the Five Eyes stuff that emerged from her policy speech.
This morning, she was answering RNZ questions about easing back from the Five Eyes alliance.
Asked about what this would mean for situations like Uighur Muslims in China – which other nations have put sanctions in place over – Mahuta said:
“New Zealand doesn’t have a sanctions regime like those countries.
“We favour diplomacy that involves dialogue, which ensures we build multilateral support for the things we advocate on that will protect our values and our interests.”
Mahuta said New Zealand could impose travel bans but it was “really important” that the country upheld international “rules and norms and the institutions that support that and ensuring that when we act that we act with the support of the United Nations”.
In other words, if we have properly grasped her explanation, sanctions will be applied only when the UN says we should – and when the UN says we should, the sanctions become compulsory. Continue reading “Yes, we impose sanctions (when the UN says we should) and will despatch an Orion to ensure they aren’t breached”