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Roading windfall will boost regional economies

Media Release – For Immediate Release

19 May 2006

Roading windfall will boost regional economies

The $1.3 billion increase in transport funding announced in yesterday’s Budget will provide a significant boost to regional economies, New Zealand Contractors’ Federation chief executive Richard Michael said today.

“New Zealand’s economic wellbeing depends on the country building and maintaining a first rate roading system,” said Mr Michael. “The sector has, in recent times, been chronically under-funded, with vital projects facing inexcusable delays.”

Mr Michael said the Budget package provided some certainty that regional roading projects would not face further delays because of funding shortfalls or when projects deemed more urgent were fast tracked up Transit’s rankings.

“That means that investors and businesses will be much more likely to invest in the regions, confident they will not be let down by inferior road links,” said Mr Michael. “Clearly Auckland’s chronic traffic congestion has to be a Government priority but it is no longer at the expense of the economic wellbeing of the rest of the country.”

He said the extra funding announced by Finance Minister Michael Cullen would go a long way to completing Auckland’s long overdue Western ring road.

“So this package is a win-win situation for both our largest city and heartland new Zealand.”

Mr Michael said the long-term certainty the funding package guaranteed would also lead to roads being built more cheaply.

“It will make the processes and planning for new roads much more efficient and cost effective. Roading contractors will be able to deliver more competitive tenders because of the longer-term certainty of what work is going to be available.”


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