The Greens welcome it – so what’s the catch?

Fair to say there’s some disappointment in the Tararua district today, in the aftermath of the PM’s cycleway announcement.

Businesses in Alf’s patch had hoped their region would be celebrating along with the winners of funding for the first stages of the national cycleway.

The announcement involves $9 million for the first seven sections of the cycleway, which will eventually link Kaitaia with Bluff.

Two of the seven are in the Ruapehu District, and mayor Sue Morris was buzzing yesterday.

“It will be huge. It will definitely create the employment opportunities that we have been looking to have for some years,” she said.

Ms Morris said there had been a bit of a downturn with industry closing and downsizing in the district “so it was pretty grim”.

Mr Key predicted the cycle trails would be a “magnet” for foreign tourists, and “invigorating” for the regions.

Eketahuna has missed out, true, but we celebrate the good news for others.

The Government reckons almost 300 jobs will be created from the construction of the seven trails, rising to 500 a year as supporting businesses are developed, the NZ Herald reports.

Labour’s Phil Goff would be advised to stop carping about the Government’s policy. But he can be a petty prick and complains Key’s announcement was a “watered down version” of the project.

There’s no recognition of grim fiscal realities in his complaint.

“John Key originally claimed his cycleway would create nearly 3700 jobs but … he has admitted that there may be as little as 160 created. He’s pedalling backwards at full speed.”

On the other hand, Alf notes the Greens’ support for the scheme.

Green MP Kevin Hague is pictured in the Herald above a caption saying the cycleways could be a “star” attraction for cycling tourists.

This makes Alf nervous.

If the muesli-munching Greenies think the cycleway project is a great idea, we’ve got to wonder what’s wrong with it.

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