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Investigation funding for Hokianga Harbour crossin

Media Release For Immediate Release 20 December 2002

Investigation funding for Hokianga Harbour crossing

Transfund New Zealand has given the go-ahead for the Far North District Council to investigate options for the Hokianga Harbour crossing.

At its December meeting held yesterday, the Transfund Board approved funding of $180,000 towards the $300,000 worth of investigation work so the council can complete its investigations into options for the harbour crossing and begin the resource consent process.

This approval was given at the usual Far North District Council financial assistance rate of 60 percent for construction funding. Far North District Council will pay the remaining 40 percent, or $120,000.

The funding, which is to come from the local roads component of Transfund's National Land Transport Programme, was approved on the understanding there was no implied assurance of approval for construction funding. Far North District Council will have to apply for this funding once the investigation phase is complete.

Transfund has previously approved two projects, one in 1999/2000 and one in 2001/2002, amounting to $260,000 for a strategy study for Hokianga Harbour crossing.

The Far North District Council had originally requested Transfund to fund 100 percent of the investigation work under the regional development fund.

more Chairman David Stubbs said Transfund recognised the Far North District Council considered the crossing vital for the Northland region.

"However, we are unable to fund the investigation work within the regional development fund, which would qualify for 100 percent funding, as the harbour crossing project was not classed as an 'essential priority' project under the Northland Regional Transport Plan.

"Hence, it is included in Transfund's five-year indicative programme for regional development as a reserve project rather than priority," he said. A reserve project will only be considered if money is available, which it is not at present.

ENDS

Transfund New Zealand is the government agency responsible for allocating funding toward an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system for New Zealand. It funds a range of transport solutions based on funding applications received from Transit New Zealand, territorial authorities and regional councils. See our website www.transfund.govt.nz for more information.

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