National has announced it will fund a $72 million motorway interchange in Lower Hutt, if it is returned to power.

Prime Minister Bill English said the Melling interchange would help boost growth in the Hutt Valley.

"We have the opportunity to support that growth with the kind of infrastructure projects that people have imagined for a long time, but haven't actually happened up until now," he said.

He made the announcement near the Melling train station, where he was campaigning with Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Hutt south candidate Chris Bishop. English was scheduled to have gone to Kaikoura today but his flight was cancelled because of high winds.


A couple of motorway interchange projects have been completed already, English said, and this was the next stage of that long-term improvement.

"The next big choke point is here at Melling. I have driven this road myself where in some circumstances you find yourself sitting there waiting to make a turn for a long time with the big trucks and cars going past at 100km/hr.

"It feels dangerous and it is dangerous. We can change that."

Bridges said State Highway 2 was the main commuter and freight network linking Wellington to the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa, and a new interchange at Melling had been talked about for decades.

"In recent years there have been growing calls for work to start to support the growing traffic flows."

Bridges said the funding would come from the National Land Transport Fund and the budget capital allowance.

English said National would also accelerate the planning and consideration of the interchange of Kennedy Good Bridge.

His first stop today was at the Spruce Goose cafe beside Wellington Airport. He approached one table and was introduced to a woman and her brother, who is visiting from Australia.


The woman told English her brother had been commenting about how small New Zealand was. And now the Prime Minister had interrupted their breakfast for a chat.

On the way out of the cafe English was stopped by a National supporter who asked about last night's 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, which put Labour ahead. English was dismissive of that result - telling the man not to pay attention to the result as the poll was completely wrong.