The National Party's transport plan: Northlanders desperate for four-lane expressway

Northland locals are desperate for a four lane expressway connecting Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga which The National Party on Friday promised to build if elected.

It would cost more than $15 billion to build the entire expressway but locals say it would create more jobs and bring more people back to Northland.

In the congested, wet, and windy roads of the north, traffic can be backed up for kilometres upon kilometres. 

"It's shit," one Kaitaia resident told Newshub. "It's absolutely shit."

Cue The National Party. New leader Judith Collins announced its new transport package on Friday - planning to build a four-lane expressway starting in Whangarei, shooting down through Auckland and Hamilton, and ending in Tauranga.

The windy Kaimai ranges would be replaced by a tunnel, so too the Brynderwyns north of Auckland

"And, yes, for those tunnels, you will pay a small toll for a car, or a more sizable one for a commercial vehicle," Collins said.

In return, it would create jobs and bring more people and goods into the area.

Locals say the most important part for the north is that it's safer. The area makes up for just three per cent of the country's population but for 12 percent of the roading  fatalities. 

Locals believe the expressway would save lives and the winterless north's economy.

For almost a decade, Northland Regional Transport Committee chairman John Bain has been pleading for the four lane expressway. 

The National Party's transport plan: Northlanders desperate for four-lane expressway
Photo credit: Newshub.

"We've got close on a number of occasions," Bain told Newshub. "If this is reborn, there will be some people like me pirouetting around the lounge tonight."

But the town of Wellsford is the main thoroughfare for State Highway 1. The expressway would most likely bypass it and Wellsford locals don't want it.

"Nah we don't want auckland up there," one resident said.

"I think it would mean more traffic, not more jobs," said another. "They'd just pay for people from Auckland to work on these roads."