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Transfund Directed to Support Wall - Wood Projects


Swain Directs Transfund to Support Wall of Wood Projects

Minister of Transport Paul Swain has directed the board of Transfund New Zealand to provide Northland and East Cape with 100% funding for land transport projects that assist in regional development.

“The direction applies to the allocation of the $30 million earmarked for transport-related regional development projects that was announced in February’s ‘Moving Forward’ package,” said Mr Swain. “It is aimed at helping Northland and East Cape develop better transport links to cope with the so-called wall of wood, due to be harvested soon.

“The direction requires Transfund to provide 100% funding for regional development roads and alternatives to roading to the six councils in the East Cape and Northland regions. Transfund usually funds about half of a project’s cost, on average, so this is an exception to the normal funding arrangements, ” said Mr Swain. “But the six councils must continue with their overall contribution to land transport investment in their districts.

“This is great news for the East Cape and Northland regions as it will increase the likelihood of land transport projects that aid regional development proceeding. The spin-offs from this, such as increased investment from forestry and transport companies in these regions, will create jobs and boost the local economies.

The direction supports the government’s commitment to regional development, especially in acute need regions,” said Mr Swain. “It will also ensure that the New Zealand economy as a whole can benefit from the wall of wood and it will assist us with our goal of returning to the top half of the OECD.”

Mr Swain said he would like to thank Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton, who has worked with local authorities, iwi, business and community representatives in Northland and East Cape to successfully address regional development issues.

Actual Direction

Transit New Zealand Act 1989 Ministerial Direction to Transfund New Zealand: Regional Development

Pursuant to section 3F of the Transit New Zealand Act 1989, and in accordance with the government’s regional development land transport policy, I direct Transfund New Zealand to increase the financial assistance rate to 100% for the following councils for the roads and alternatives to roads projects that are eligible for, and are funded from, the National Roads Account Output: Regional Development Capital and Output: Regional Development Maintenance: Far North District Council Kaipara District Council Whangarei District Council Northland Regional Council Gisborne District Council Wairoa District Council.

Background

1. On 28 February 2002, the government agreed to the allocation of $30 million through the National Land Transport Fund, over a 16 month period, for regional development (roading and alternatives to roading). The government decided that its regional development priority is to assist local authorities (and other public bodies) to meet specific needs where regional development and alternatives to roads are constrained by inadequate investment. The government has also agreed that regional development investment will be focused on areas of acute need such as East Cape and Northland.

The councils from Northland and East Cape have informed the government that they cannot fund their contribution for roads and alternatives to roads aimed at regional development.

This direction recognises both the decisions in (1) above and the Northland and East Cape councils’ financial situations outlined in (2) above. The government also agreed that, while this direction requires Transfund New Zealand to provide 100% funding for regional development roads and alternatives to roading for the named councils, those councils’ overall contributions to land transport investment is to be maintained.

Dated at Wellington this 9th day of October 2002.

Hon Paul Swain Minister of Transport

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