Looking for movement in Otaki

Here's a dog that hasn't barked.

In Otaki there has been a lot of noise about Steven Joyce's plan to build an enormous motorway right through the middle of the marginal seat.

Before the transport agency decided on its particular route, it put out options that seemed to threaten most homes in the region. Colmar Brunton did a survey (pdf) and a route was selected that was the most popular in that survey.

49 per cent supported it.

Opponents of the motorway have argued the poll was flawed because it didn't offer a 'no expressway'  option.

Since about 15 per cent of respondents selected 'no need for expressway' or some variation such as 'upgrade existing SH1', I'm not sure how people arrive at this claim, but it is what they say.

Yesterday, Labour came out with a policy - the one supported by 7 per cent in the poll.

If opposition to the expressway was as strong as opponents say, then you would expect Labour would have picked up support in Otaki.

Interestingly iPredict stocks in Otaki haven't moved at all.

That may be because the Colmar Brunton was right, and there is support for a road down the route the government has chosen - Nathan Guy is already a strong favorite in the market, so nothing changed by Labour choosing an unpopular policy.

It may because the market has already priced in the Labour policy.



The survey seems highly flawed, partially because it covers regions that are unaffected - such as Paekakariki. But mainly because it confuses the expressway with the "Western Link Road'. The latter term has been widely used to describe a long-planned local road, aimed at reducing traffic on SH1, but the survey seems to be using this term to describe an expressway following the route of the planned local road.

If you say "Western Link Road" to people in Kapiti, they are going to assume you mean a local road, hence the high support for this option.


Sam Buchanan

The problem

Labour's attitude to the road in Kapit sums up the problem it has in general. It makes up policies it perceives to be popular. Problem is no one is listening.
Sure there are split opinions on the coast about the best route for the road and which
should be widest. I don't think picking one side over the other is going to make the slightest
but difference in the electorate and Guy is at least 90 percent probable to hold it
(By the way your comment interface needs a bit of work)

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