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Road Funding Options Need To Be Examined

ACT MP Ken Shirley is not satisfied that our local councils have adequately considered all funding options for the completion of the Tauranga strategic roading network.

Yesterday he attended a forum of local bodies and interested parties, which sought cross party political support for legislative changes deemed necessary to facilitate funding of the roading projects.

“It is recognised that currently committed works have a capital value of some $150 million and undoubtedly an efficient transit route through the city to the port is critical for the sustained economic wellbeing of the region,” he said.

“It became apparent to me at the meeting yesterday that the Councils had not adequately considered the funding option based on the unlocking of existing wealth such as ownership of the airport and the Port of Tauranga.

“The Bay of Plenty Regional Council owns 51% of the shares in the Port of Tauranga with a market value of $250 million. One of the core functions of the Regional Council is to develop and support regional transport initiatives. Conversely it is not a core function or indeed desirable for local bodies to be major shareholders in commercial businesses.

“While I pledge my support for the roading projects and any legislative changes required to enable greater funding flexibility it appears to me the best solution for the funding dilemma can be found within the local bodies themselves” said Mr Shirley.


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