Transport Funding For Regional Development
28 February 2002 Media Statement
First-Ever Transport Funding For Regional Development
Funding of thirty million dollars for regional development is overdue and will produce significant benefits in jobs and prosperity, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton says.
It’s a first. Before today’s announcement of the land transport package, transport funding has not been designated specifically for regional development.
The money will be available to help unlock the ‘wall of wood’ in regions such as Northland and East Cape/Tairawhiti.
“Forests worth hundreds of millions of dollars are locked up in those regions because there has been inadequate investment in transport to bring the wood out and to get it processed in New Zealand,” Jim Anderton said.
“Unlocking that supply of wood will bring thousands of jobs to some of the most acute regions in New Zealand, and potentially lift export earnings in the wood industry to rival those of dairy.”
Jim Anderton said funding announced today to help relieve traffic congestion in Auckland will have positive economic benefits for all New Zealand.
“Congestion in Auckland is causing a drag on economic activity all over New Zealand. Reducing traffic problems in Auckland will help to produce more jobs and rising incomes in industries and regions through-out New Zealand.”
As Alliance leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Anderton welcomed the package as a triumph for all parties both in, and supporting, the Government.
“The Alliance is delighted that $30 million has been achieved for jobs and prosperity in the regions and another $30 million for alternatives to roading, while I am sure that the Green Party will be pleased that it has been able to secure $3 million for its cycleways.”