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

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels