Transport is the big ticket

Public Transport is the biggest ticket item for the Greater Wellington Regional Council with about 60% of our annual budget devoted to bus and rail services.

While Greater Wellington is heavily involved in a wide range of activities including environmental management, flood protection, regional economic development and pest control work it is transport that dominates the budget.

In Kāpiti we have seen huge gains with the building of the double tracking of commuter rail through to Waikanae. In addition we are getting major railway station upgrades at Paraparaumu and Waikanae and a new fleet of trains. The first of the new Matangi units (2 cars) departed the Port of Masan, South Korea this week and is expect to arrive early August.

And as pleased as I am with that progress we need more.

The Raumati railway station needs to take priority in the regional rail plan. The Raumati community is the only urban community on the Western Line without a station. Raumati has a the population right now to justify a station. Surveys have shown the people of Raumati would be much higher users of public transport with the addition of a railway station.

My other important rail priority is to see the double tracking and electrification of the rail lines to Ōtaki. This makes sense on so many levels it is surprising it isn’t happening already. Kāpiti has been in the top group of population growth districts for several years and this trend looks set to continue with Ōtaki a likely area for that growth.

I will be continuing discussions with our local MPs who have all expressed support for the rail extending to Ōtaki. Both Nathan Guy and Darren Hughes have pledged their support, as have Winnie Laban and Hekia Parata.

There have been discussions, promises and threats of all sorts of grand, and not so grand, roads through, over and around Kāpiti for decades. Irrespective of our views about Expressways, Transmission Gully or any other road that may or may not happen and even if they do happen nothing is scheduled to be completed in the next decade.

In the meanwhile where is our bridge over the Waikanae River. Everyone in Kāpiti knows it should have been built years ago and yet it is still on the waiting list. The response is simple BUILD IT NOW.