Brushing off criticism from the Opposition, Prime Minister Bill English says New Zealand needs more roads to account for growth.
"Ten years ago, no one would have dreamed that you'd need four lanes from Napier to Hastings, or from Whangarei right down to the foot of the Kaimai [Ranges], or from Sanson through to the Wellington Airport," he told The AM Show on Monday.
"This is connecting our regions to our ports. It's going to complete a lot of our main routes."
On Sunday, National announced plans to spend another $10.5 billion improving the next generation of Roads of National Significance.
Like the $12 billion already spent on seven 'nationally significant' roads, National's transport spokesperson Simon Bridges said the next tranche of roads would come from the National Land Transport Fund and public-private partnerships.
"This is what you need to do when you have a growing economy and you want to get ahead of the curve," the Prime Minister said.
The policy was slammed by Labour and the Greens, and backed by ACT leader David Seymour.