There are a number of regions in the country that will be very pleased with Prime Minister John Key's state of the nation speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Auckland yesterday.

The big winner, of course, was Auckland itself, with Mr Key outlining a plan to make an early start on the main works of the $2.5 billion city rail link in 2018 and an east-west road connection between Onehunga and Mt Wellington going through a streamlined consenting process to bring forward construction.

He also announced that the Government would provide up to $115 million to complete four regional roading projects in Taranaki, the Gisborne area and Malborough.

One cannot begrudge the emphasis being placed on the Auckland rail and road projects because the lack of a sophisticated transport network is one of the major obstacles to Auckland being a truly world-class city.


The other projects in the regions also sound very worthwhile, but the let down for me and, I am sure, many in Hawke's Bay is that once again the Government has ignored this province. Last year's Budget offered us nothing as a region and yet again we aren't even a blip on Mr Key's radar screen.

I am sure many of our readers could name a number of roads in Hawke's Bay that could do with a cash injection to give us safer and better connections with the rest of the country.

Things are looking up economically in Hawke's Bay but a little central Government help would be nice.

It would be unfortunate if this Government let us become the forgotten province.