Julie Anne Genter says the writing was on the wall for Transmission Gully as tensions between contractor CPB and the NZ Transport Agency appear to have reached boiling point. The 27 kilometre stretch of motorway has blown its budget, been bailed out by NZTA, suffered significant delays and has been criticised for being run like a circus.
Speaking in her capacity as Green Party transport spokeswoman, Genter said National should have seen the "expensive legal quagmire" coming. Meanwhile, National's transport spokesman Chris Bishop has raised questions over why NZTA bailed out the contractor to the tune of $190.6 million, when the agency considered there was no liability.
The troubled lower North Island road is being built through a public-private partnership, a funding model approved under the then National Government in 2012. The Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP) has sub-contracted CPB Contractors and HEB Construction to carry out the design and construction.
Genter said PPPs could be compared to hire purchase agreements. "You pay little or nothing upfront, but tend to pay a lot more down the track because of high interest rates and legal wrangling."
Earlier this year it was revealed the cost of the project blew out to more than $1 billion after NZTA agreed to pay the contractor another $190.6 million in a settlement over delays caused by the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and flooding around the same time.