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Auckland And New Zealand Road Users Being Conned?

Auckland And New Zealand Road Users Being Conned?

Aucklanders are being dealt a double blow by lack of investment in spending on its desperately needed roading improvements.

This is the only possible conclusion following revelations by the NZAA that only $5.4 million, or 4.6% more, compared to four years ago, has been allocated to Auckland’s total roading needs by Transfund, while the amount taken off road users annually in petrol tax and road user charges has gone up by 26% or over $240 million.

Michael Barnett, chairman of the Auckland Business Forum, was responding to the NZAA’s claims that while Transfund’s budget for state highway construction in the Auckland region went up by nearly $12 million between 1999-2000 and the 2003 allocation, funding for local roading in the region was chopped by over $6 million.

“It’s been a “rob Peter to pay Paul” approach. The end result is a pathetically small increase in funding going into the total Auckland roading network. And if these claims stack up, they are inconsistent with what Government ministers have been promoting as policy to get Auckland’s transport network built as soon as possible,” said Mr Barnett. Despite Government claims that it is putting hundreds of millions of extra dollars into Auckland roads, the facts seem to say otherwise.

“What’s actually happened is that all the extra money motorists and other road users have been coughing up hasn’t been going into providing the roads Aucklanders so desperately need.

“Meanwhile, the rest of New Zealand thinks Auckland has stolen all the lollies. They blame Auckland for sucking up all the money they need for vitally needed new roads and upgrades in their part of the country for its motorway networks.

“So Auckland road users have got the worst of all possible outcomes. They’re being pilloried up and down the country but Aucklanders are missing out just as much as everyone else is.

At current expenditure levels it will take Transit New Zealand forty years to get on top of the roading backlog in Auckland, and indications are the Land Transport Management Bill currently before Parliament will make matters worse.

Auckland Business Forum members are appalled by the lack of additional funding coming from Transfund and call on the Government to stop messing around and get the roading system built with a sense of urgency and all possible speed.”

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