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Northland is getting regional roading funds

Northland is getting regional roading funds

Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton is not sure where MP John Carter has been over the last few months while decisions on regional roading have been made and announced.

Jim Anderton, says “Transfund has already decided that Northland will receive $56 million for regional roading over the next five years for project priorities set by Council’s in the region. Already $9.7 m has been committed to regional roading in Northland for the current year. Work will be starting, I understand before Christmas. On what planet has John Carter been living?

“The options and priorities for a bridge over the Hokianga are for the local Councils and Transfund to decide based on their priorities, and with funding that has never before been available under National governments.

“This Labour Progressive Government has provided a regional development fund of $30 million per year available for regional roading in Northland and the East Coast as priority regions and this will be used for roads which carry significant wood processing traffic.

“Far North Mayor Yvonne Sharp has acknowledged the benefits this funding is able to make to the region in a newspaper column and in a letter she has sent to me, saying:

‘The announcement that the Far North District would receive $9.7m totally subsidised regional development roading funding for the current year is amazingly positive for the district.

For years there has been a stripping of infrastructure from rural areas such as ours and our communities have suffered accordingly.

The Government in 1999 gave a commitment to position regional development partnerships and there was no way that Northland could have coped with the forthcoming ‘wall of wood’ with direct intervention from Government.’

“I am not surprised that Far North MP John Carter doesn’t understand regional development funding as National never worked with regions or adequately funded regional infrastructure in the thirty-eight years they were in office since the second world war!” said Jim Anderton said.

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