Tauranga ratepayers face another $30 million of roading costs after New Zealand First failed to gain leverage over National from Saturday's election.
National's overwhelming victory meant Winston Peters will not be in a position as kingmaker to force concessions from National on Route K tolls and the Tauranga Central Corridor.
Mr Peters had pledged to get tolls off Route K and to hold Prime Minister John Key to the promise he made before the 2008 elections to meet the full costs of the 15th Ave/Hairini Link.
Getting tolls off Route K followed the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) agreeing to take over the road's $62 million debt, effectively removing 18 per cent of the Tauranga City Council's debt.
Mr Key put his position on the central corridor in a response to questions from the Bay of Plenty Times last week. The statement from a spokeswoman for Mr Key did not refer to his pledge to fund the full costs.
She said the Government had fully funded $20 million on the early stages of the project and was committed to the $68 million Welcome Bay underpass. Also, the Government would likely fund half of the $60 million final stage to four-lane Turret Rd and 15th Ave, bringing the Government's total investment to $115 million. With the council due to take over ownership of Turret Rd and 15th Ave from the NZTA, the remaining $30 million would be funded from rates.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said National had spent more on roading in Tauranga than New Zealand First ever did when it was in government with Labour.
"Dollar for dollar, this government has been much better for Tauranga's infrastructure than the Labour-New Zealand First government."
He highlighted Mr Key's statement on the central corridor and how the Government had taken over the $62 million Route K debt, saying the tolls had to remain to ensure that other roading projects went ahead.
Tauranga's new list MP for New Zealand First Clayton Mitchell said the party would continue to apply pressure.
"There will still be leverage but it will not be the sharp axe we would like to have had."
Mr Mitchell said he would be a passionate voice in Parliament for the people of Tauranga and intended to meet with council on a regular basis.
"We will be working on the tolls from within. It might take a little bit longer. I am still extremely optimistic that we will come through with everything we said we would achieve."