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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Gisborne

30 June 2005

Safety and road security Land Transport NZ’s focus for Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay

Safety and road security to withstand forestry and tourism growth are the focus for Gisborne & Hawke’s Bay in the 2005/06 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Land Transport NZ today announced $1.7 billion in transport spending for New Zealand in 2005/06, including nearly $63 million allocated for investment in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay’s land transport network. This includes $52 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads and $9 million for construction of state highways and local roads.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay’s major routes safer and more efficient.

Regional development funding will continue for upgrading Tairawhiti’s forestry roads to accommodate heavy logging traffic. This year’s regional development allocation for Northland and Tairawhiti is $15 million, which is based on the average of $20 million signalled by the government less the additional funding of $5 million advanced in 2004/05.

Funding has been committed for the continuation of construction of Prebensen Drive in Napier, which will improve access by providing a new arterial link between Taradale and north Napier.

Projects which may be funded throughout the year include the replacement of the Armstrong Road and Rip bridges in the Gisborne district; and the Meeanee Road interchange with the Hawke’s Bay expressway, State Highway 50.

This year’s NLTP is the first to include regionally distributed funding raised from the 5c per litre increase in petrol excise and the associated increase in Road User Charges for light vehicles introduced on April 1 this year. The distribution of regional funding has been determined on the basis of population.

Dr Wright stressed that regionally distributed funding will be allocated over a 10 year period, with all regions receiving their full allocation over the 10 years.

“While this extra funding will be allocated and approved through the usual NLTP processes, Land Transport NZ is seeking increased regional involvement in setting priorities for this funding. Allocation of this funding has begun slowly because some regions need time to set their priorities, and the more expensive construction phase of projects will occur later in the 10 year period.”

This year’s NLTP is the first to be prepared by Land Transport NZ, created by the merger of Transfund New Zealand and the Land Transport Safety Authority in December 2004. Dr Wright says the activities funded through the NLTP reflect Land Transport NZ’s objective of contributing to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system.

“New Zealand faces huge transport challenges. The $1.7 billion allocated by this year’s NLTP, together with the extra transport funding of $100 million per year for three years from 2006/07 announced in this year’s Budget and the further $500 million announced last week, will help us meet those challenges.”

Dr Wright said an announcement would be made in August detailing how the extra $500 million in transport funding will be allocated.

Regional newsletters, a fact sheet and the NLTP book, which details all projects in the 2005/06 NLTP, will be available at www.landtransport.govt.nz from 6pm today.

ENDS


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