The Associate Minister of Transport has said using the term "car fascists" was not the best choice of words.
Details of the Let's Get Wellington Moving transport package were released yesterday.
The plan has a $6.4 billion price tag and includes mass transit as a priority. It also includes a second Mt Victoria Tunnel, better cycling and walking paths, unblocking the Basin Reserve and other public transport improvements.
The announcement caused a lot of discussion on social media between councillors, MPs and members of the public.
In one tweet yesterday, Minister Julie Anne Genter said, "We need a few car fascists to stop opposing infrastructure that gives more people the option to walk, cycle or scoot safely if they wish."
The use of "fascists" didn't sit well with others. National list MP Nicola Willis said it was "divisive nonsense."
Genter replied saying, "People who use cars and support better infrastructure for public transport, walking and cycling are NOT car fascists. I use a car. Most NZers do. But there is a loud minority who oppose choice, who oppose safety. They need to be called out."
Wellington City councillor Diane Calvert said the comment highlighted where Genter's opinions were.
"It does give me some concerns... have they really given a balanced approach to this? [Let's Get Wellington Moving]."
On Friday morning, Genter acknowledged it wasn't the "greatest choice of words".
She said she was talking about advocating for people to have more choice about how to get around the city.
"A few people are vociferously opposed to separated cycleways but actually most New Zealanders, especially those who are currently using a car, do want more choice and know we need better infrastructure."