Transport Minister Michael Wood labels Opposition 'outrageous hypocrites' over pothole comments

The Transport Minister has called the Opposition "outrageous hypocrites" for complaining about the state of our roads.

It comes as Newshub reveals fewer than one percent of Kiwis are getting compensation for pothole damage to their cars.

A pothole one man said could be a "Waka Kotahi swimming hole" is what National's calling the Pothole of the Week. It's a tongue-in-cheek competition launched by National's Simeon Brown.

But Kelvin Tsu from Wellington Tyre Centre said potholes are no laughing matter.

"They can crack your rim, deform your rim. Depending on how large the pothole is they can also damage your suspension," he said.

But the chances of getting compensated if you hit one are fewer than 1 percent. Of the 555 complaints made so far this year, only four were covered by Waka Kotahi. The agency responded by saying New Zealanders should drive slower to avoid them. 

"It's not our responsibility to dodge the potholes, it's the Minister of Transport Michael Wood and his agency's responsibility to fix our road," said ACT's transport spokesperson Simon Court. 

But Transport Minister Michael Wood is shifting the pothole blame on to the National party.

"Outrageous hypocrites, I've got the figures… National froze state highway maintenance funding for eight years. That is the massive deferred maintenance bill we are paying now," he said. 

But Brown said Kiwis aren't happy. 

"If you look across our roading network at the moment there's more potholes than we've seen in years and the roads are in a worse state. That's what most New Zealanders are saying."

It appears some of our politicians are experts in pothole avoidance.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she's not had her care damaged by a pothole in recent times.

Justice Minister Kiri Allan said: "My car? I have got a four-wheel drive truck."

Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said: "There's a few potholes around all over the show".

Police Minister Chris Hipkins said: "Ah no, no."

Pothole pressure's now plaguing the Parliament and while the Government doesn't hold responsibility for every pothole on every street, the Opposition's has rightly identified it's a topic that gets the public going.