Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has all but confirmed the Government will scrap the unpopular plan for a $785 million Auckland cycle bridge, telling the Weekend Herald she knew it was unpopular and "I'm a pragmatist".
The NZ Herald reported earlier this week the Government was considering dumping the plan for the cycle bridge over the Waitematā, and Ardern has confirmed the Government is now looking at other options.
In an interview with the Weekend Herald, Ardern said while there had been public support for the Skypath proposal Labour had initially backed, she acknowledged there was not the same support for the replacement cycle bridge.
The cycle bridge had a much higher price tag than Skypath, which engineers had since ruled out because it was not feasible to attach it to the existing harbour bridge.
Ardern said the support for Skypath had shown people did want a cycle crossing option - but clearly not at any cost.
"But what we are hearing is that they see limits as to how far people are willing to go to provide [those options]. So, we haven't changed what we've got on the table at the moment, but let's think about how we can reprise some of those options.
"I'm a pragmatist."
She said if there was a goal, and you could do it in way that would bring more people with you, then that was what you should aim for.
"I am still determined we are going to open up options for different modes of transport, and I'd say different modes of transport needs to include a range of public transport options. That's my goal."
However, there were limits to that pragmatism.
Labour has taken a hit in the polls of late and was buffeted by farmers' protests over a range of measures the Government was pushing through on the environment and climate change, as well as the ute tax.
While Ardern was willing to budge on the cycle bridge, she was not as willing to budge on her climate change and environmental goals.
Ardern said she was trying to make the changes easier on farmers, but had no intention of backing down on taking the measures she believed were critical to hit climate change targets, and clean up the environment.
She said food production would always be critical for New Zealand, and it was critical to maintain the position of high-quality production.
"I don't resile from that. But what I hear is that there are ways we can do that that make it a bit easier. I will do what I can to make it easier. But we can't stand still."
Ardern also canvassed Covid-19, telling the Herald she was not keen on measures taken overseas which would only allow vaccinated people entry to places such as restaurants and crowded venues.
She will set out more details of her plans for the next six months on Thursday, when the Government's Covid-19 health advisory group will release its findings on options for the future.