Act leader Rodney Hide is right when he calls the new steering committee looking into the role of the private sector in completing the Waterview section of the western ring route "more dithering".
"Rather than announcing some kind of progress, the minister instead announced that his Government would be consulting, investigating and studying the feasibility of involving the private sector in the project," he said.
Mr Hide might also have added that creating a committee top heavy with pro-road, private-sector lobbyists hardly makes the process independent.
One can only presume it's a devilishly cunning plan by Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Transport Minister Annette King to neutralise three of their most voluble critics in the run-up to November's general election. Instead of constantly nagging the Government, Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett and his counterparts at Business New Zealand (Phil O'Reilly) and the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (Stephen Selwood) now have to come up with a workable scheme.
They'll have to justify their starry-eyed belief in public/private partnerships with facts and figures and, most importantly, the names of willing participants, or back off gracefully and, more to the point, silently.