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

 


Partnership cements future of Route K


18 August 2014 | NZ Transport Agency - Waikato & Bay of Plenty

Partnership cements future of Route K

A partnership between the NZ Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council (TCC) will see the Route K debt removed from the city’s books when the road transfers to the Transport Agency.

The Transport Agency and TCC have reached an agreement where Route K and its tolling operations will be transferred to the Agency in mid-2015, with all but $1million of the $63million debt associated with the express bypass removed from TCC’s books.

The Transport Agency’s Waikato Bay of Plenty Regional Director, Harry Wilson, said the decision meant Tauranga ratepayers would not be burdened with the Route K debt and the Agency would be able to commit to electronically tolling both Route K and the Tauranga Eastern Link together.

“Route K is a strategic link and bringing it into the state highway network
will ensure that it is used in a way that will provide the greatest benefit to the entire region.”

As part of the agreement, the Transport Agency will compensate council with a one-off payment that will remove all but $1million of the Route K debt at the date of transfer.

Mr Wilson said the payment would be made from existing Transport Agency funds, and would be recovered from future tolling revenue.

“This arrangement means the Transport Agency avoids taking on debt and there will no impact on any other Bay of Plenty roading projects.”

The payment recognises the council’s loss of future tolling revenue due to the change of ownership. The remaining $1million recognises the reduction in council’s financial costs due to the payment.

Mr Wilson said the two parties had formed a partnership to change the status of Route K to a state highway many years ago.

“The initial plan was for the Route K debt to stay with TCC and be repaid through tolling after the Transport Agency took over the road, however recent legal advice has made it clear that was not possible,” he said.

“So we went back to the drawing board and worked together to find a solution that would work for both Tauranga ratepayers and road users,” he said.

“Timing was crucial; the decision had to be made before September so the Agency could commit to timelines for the opening of the TEL in 2015.

“This agreement means the Transport Agency is now able to commit to electronically tolling Route K and the TEL together, which provides a savings of $750,000 for road users.”

Mayor Stuart Crosby said the transfer of Route K assets to the NZ Transport Agency was a win-win situation for all involved.

“The NZ Transport Agency gets to fill a gap in its strategic roading network and has the ability to collect tolls, while Tauranga City Council is eased of the burden of ownership,” he said.

“This is a great day for the ratepayers of Tauranga, the motoring public and sub-regional economic development.”

Mayor Crosby said the decision to construct and open Route K in 2003 required foresight and courage but was the right decision for the city.

“This was about the long term benefits for a growing city. Route K opened up an alternative route across the city and particularly to the Port of Tauranga. Council's long-term plan was always for ownership of Route K to switch to the NZ Transport Agency, it was just a matter of when and how.

Today’s decision, which is subject to statutory approvals, is the culmination of a series of conversations between the Transport Agency and TCC.

Mayor Crosby said the Western Bay of Plenty’s collaborative approach to strategic roading had provided tangible benefits to local communities and this would continue into the future.

ENDS

Editor’s note:

How will TCC get the funding?
TCC will apply to the Regional Transport Committee to include the arrangement in the Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP).
Funding will be provided by the National Land Transport Programme’s New and Improved Infrastructure for Local Roads Activity Class. The Programme is the government investment in transport, with funds coming from fuel excise duty and road user charges.

How is the Transport Agency funding the arrangement?
The Transport Agency will make the payment through its cash-flow management and does not require a debt facility. The Transport Agency will retain the tolling revenue from the road to cover all its costs. The tolls will be paid back into the National Land Transport Programmes’ Fund.
What is unique about Route K?
Route K is a part of the nationally important transport journey that includes State Highway 29 as an inter-regional link between the Bay of Plenty and the rest of the upper North Island for the movement of people and freight.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pacific Spying: Mass Surveillance Of NZers Confirmed By Former GCSB Director - Contradicting PM John Key

Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson Reports: Yesterday morning former GCSB Director Sir Bruce Ferguson confirmed mass surveillance of New Zealnders in the Pacific is taking place as revealed in the latest Snowden leaks investigated by Nicky Hager. In 2013 John Key told press gallery reporters that in the event mass surveillance was found have been conducted by the GCSB, he and the director of the GCSB - his childhood friend Ian Fletcher - would resign. As the controversy deepens a year and half later Fletcher has already resigned. But will Key? More>>

Gordon Campbell: Legal Fudging Of The GCSB Revelations

As many have noted, the Hager/Snowden revelations of the spying by our security agencies on our Pacific neighbours and allies is a virtual re-run of the pre-election debate. It is a situation where the government (a) stonewalls, (b) baldly asserts that mass surveillance is not occurring despite the Snowden evidence that it is, and (c) claims that the GCSB actions were lawful. Yet as Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman says, this can be true only if the legislation passed last year by the Key government has made the mass surveillance of New Zealanders – and the related handing over of their private data to the NSA – lawful. More>>

Latest:

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Women's Day, March 8: It’s Time For Men To Step Up For Gender Equality

UN Women is launching the HeForShe campaign in New Zealand at the International Women's Day Parliamentary Breakfast, and is calling on New Zealand men — including politicians and community and sports leaders — to show their commitment to gender equality by signing up to this global campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news