Yes, the benefit to cost ratio has come back with a negative return as demonstrated in page 8 of the NZTA project summary statement http://nzta.govt.nz/network/rons/docs/puhoi-wellsford-project-summary-statement.pdf (hat tip: LucyJH):
A BCR of 0.8 meaning at a cost of $2 billion dollars it will return $1.6 billion to the NZ economy. I have to say even this I find this highly dubious and think some very creative accounting has gone into the calculation, I’m looking forward to seeing a breakdown. Remember both the USA and the UK, whose BCR systems ours was based on, have changed the way they calculate BCR making less favourable to roads to reflect reality, we haven’t and this project still returns a negative BCR, makes you wonder when the press and Darren Hughes are going to wake up, doesn’t it?
The report also talks about using the new infrastructure to allow development to maximise returns on the investment, if that isn’t code word for sprawl I don’t know what is. If this is allowed to continue National can quit calling itself the party of economic sense and change it’s name to the “We Let Steven Joyce Destroy NZ’s Wealth Party”. As we’ve seen with the approval of the Transmission Gully project he isn’t afraid to write $1.1 billion dollars out of the NZ economy with one stroke of a pen, what is a paltry $400 million dollars compared to that?