Wellington could see the resurrection of major road projects like a second Terrace Tunnel and trenching Karo Drive under a National-led government.

The party is going into battle with Labour on transport in Wellington, a region where National's transport spokesman Chris Bishop is an island in a sea of red seats as the MP for Hutt South.

Wellington's transport infrastructure hasn't seen significant investment for decades so it's pivotal the $6.4b Let's Get Wellington Moving transport package hits the mark.


National believes that presents it with an opportunity to make headway in the region this election.

Bishop delivered his first speech of the year at a packed Wellington Chamber of Commerce event this morning.

He said National would "rework" LGWM if elected.

But the way Bishop's speech was crafted indicated the "rework" wasn't simply a rejigging of the projects in the current deal, but rather bringing back projects the Government has left for dead.

At great length he pointed out the "widespread" public support for projects like a second Terrace Tunnel and trenching Karo Drive.

National's transport spokesman Chris Bishop says the party will
National's transport spokesman Chris Bishop says the party will "rework" Let's Get Wellington Moving. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

Both of these were actually included in the LGWM-recommended programme of investment.

But once the Government was finished with it, both projects were nowhere to be seen in the indicative package.

"We settled on the amount of money that we think could be prudently funded and financed by and, for Wellington, it's a limited envelope of funds," Transport Minister Phil Twyford said when the package was announced.


Last month the Government unveiled a package of projects in its $12b infrastructure spend-up, called the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

The spend on transport amounted to $6.8b, with roads making up $5.3b of that. Let's Get Wellington Moving didn't feature.

Bishop said in his speech today National would outspend Labour on transport infrastructure, although he wouldn't be pressed on more specific details.

"We are the party of infrastructure and we intend to campaign on that message", he said.

Those statements seemingly leave the door open for the likes of Karo Drive, which would mean sending the Inner City bypass underground through Te Aro.

Twyford doubted National would outspend Labour, especially after the New Zealand Upgrade Programme announcement.

"You've got to ask them, how are they going to fund it? Where is the money coming from, because they've promised to cut fuel taxes."

Bishop said more details would be revealed later in the year. It's the second transport teaser he's delivered in Wellington in the space of two months.

Before Christmas National launched a campaign to bring forward construction of a second Mt Victoria tunnel, but Bishop played coy on an election promise.

Those sort of announcements are likely to be made by party leader Simon Bridges.

But in the meantime, Bishop is surely making some Labour MPs in Wellington's sea of red a bit squeamish with all this talk of tunnel building.