Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Transfund Stalls Auckland’s Roading Programme

11 July 2001


Transfund’s restrictive funding criteria for road construction is stalling development of Auckland’s roads network and sentencing the city to unnecessary congestion for years to come, says Councillor Catherine Harland.

The benefit/cost ratios used by Transfund - the government agency thatallocates funding for state highway construction – came under close scrutiny at the Transport and Roading Committee of Auckland City Council today.

Councillor Harland, the committee chairwoman, said the Council is frustrated at having agreed plans with Transit New Zealand to progress the upgrade of Grafton Gully, only to have Transfund “lift the bar” when it came to qualifying for funding.

Councillor Harland said: “Lifting the benefit/cost cut-off from 3.0 to 4.0 for construction funding means the first stage of the State Highway 16/Grafton Gully improvements, expected to begin early next year, will now not happen.”

The first stage of the threestage programme is to have a bridge built from Wellesley Street across Grafton Gully to join up with Grafton Road, with on-ramps to the southern motorway.

Last month, the Council’s Transport and Roading Committee agreed to the three-stage programme for the State Highway 16/Grafton Gully upgrade, which met Transfund’s benefit/cost ratio. With that agreement, construction on the first stage could begin early next year.

But last week, Transfund released its National Roading Programme and advised the benefit /cost ratio had increased from three to four.

Councillor Harland said the eleventhhour funding stumbling block by Transfund compounded the city’s ability to solve its traffic problems.

“The Council and Transit are frequently criticised for the city’s traffic problems, but Transfund’s restrictive funding policies have stymied this and other projects,” she said.

“This is particularly frustrating for the State Highway 16/Grafton Gully project.

“It’s taken years of hard work and considerable cost to get to the final agreed solution and then to have its immediate progress scuppered by Transfund at the last minute is all a bit much.”

Councillor Harland said the Grafton Gully upgrade is an excellent solution to one of the highest priority traffic problems Auckland needs solved as quickly as possible.

She said that as the road carries New Zealand’s export goods to Auckland’s wharves, it has a major national, as well as regional and city-wide, impact.

“I fail to see how this nationally significant strategic roading project can be dismissed so easily,” says Councillor Harland. “It reveals what a nonsense it is to rely solely on the benefit/cost ratio for roading investment decisions.”

The committee asked Councillor Harland to write to the Transfund board and chief executive, the Prime Minister, the Minister and the Associate Minister of Transport and Minister of Finance, outlining Auckland City’s concerns and requesting that State Highway 16 be given immediate priority for construction funding. It also requested that Parliament’s Select Committee on Transport be briefed.

The committee has asked the Regional Land Transport Committee to support a higher benefit /cost ratio for the project.

The committee resolved that council officers continue to work closely with Transit New Zealand to speed up the State Highway 16/Grafton Gully upgrade and that priority be given to the planning notification and subsequent hearing procedures for the project.

To improve communication and project co-ordination, the Committee requested quarterly updates from the regional manager of Transit on the progress of state highway projects within the city’s boundaries.

In addition, the Council would support Transit with any requests made to the Environment Court for urgency in dealing with appeals related to State Highway projects in Auckland City.

In another move to help try to speed up progress on roading construction, the committee has asked the Auckland Regional Council to alter its winter ban on earthworks to enable major roading projects to proceed.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election