Waka Kotahi has managed to find $25 million for a head office fit-out in Wellington but not to fill the potholes plaguing many of our roads.
Transport Minister Michael Wood mentioned Waka Kotahi needed to move from its premises on Chews Lane in Wellington due to an earthquake damage risk.
However, the cost of refitting their new premises is deemed unjustified by National Party’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown, and a more affordable approach could have been taken.
“Finding a new office space due to earthquake strengthening requirements is understandable, but $25 million to fit out a six-story office space isn’t,” said Brown.
The $25 million price tag equates to spending more than $2800 per square metre for the 8700 square metre office space. That’s 80 per cent more than Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities spent on every square metre of their recent office refurbishment.
“The problem with Waka Kotahi NZTA under Michael Wood’s leadership is that delivering and maintaining the quality of New Zealand’s roads appears to take a back seat to extravagant office fit-outs, tripling communications staff and custom-built red zeros,” added Brown.
“Waka Kotahi needs safe office spaces to work in, but eye watering spending of taxpayer money on an office fit-out doesn’t sit well during a cost-of-living crisis.
“Minister Wood should fix the potholes, not the office furniture.”