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Council for Infrastructure Dev. Welcomes Report

New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development
Welcomes and Supports Road Report

"We Must Improve Our Performance"

The Chairman of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID), Hon Jim McLay, has welcomed the Allen Consulting Report - Benefits of Investment in New Zealand's Road Infrastructure - which highlights the inadequacy of New Zealand's roads.

"This report confirms, yet again, what most New Zealanders already know: That, over the eight year period that it reviewed, we significantly under-invested in roads while, at the same time, road use doubled," said Mr McLay.

"The result has been major traffic congestion (worse than in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne), and higher fatality rates than other OECD countries.

"We can't ignore those findings, and must improve our performance. NZCID supports the report and its conclusions.

"If the four proposed transport infrastructure packages discussed in the report are completed, by 2012 there would be a total net annual benefit to New Zealand in excess of $1.5 billion.

"The gross gains would substantially exceed the investment and financing costs. On top of that, there would be an enormous national benefit through the saving of lives".

Mr McLay said he was particularly pleased the report focussed some attention on road safety as well as on economic benefit.

"The safety factor is often overlooked in such studies. We cannot ignore or excuse the fact that, in this area, New Zealand's roads perform below other OECD countries."

Mr McLay said that, in coming months, NZCID will focus attention on seeking improvements to the Resource Management and Land Transport Management Acts to ensure they do not impede efforts to improve the situation identified in the report.

"If new projects can't even get started, or are significantly delayed, the problems identified by this and other studies will continue and compound. All New Zealanders will suffer as a result", he said.

Mr McLay congratulated the organisations that sponsored the report. "It makes a valuable contribution to the New Zealand infrastructure debate."

Issued by:

Gilbert Peterson on behalf of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development

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