Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Swain addresses AA wish list

Swain addresses AA wish list

Speaking at the New Zealand Automobile Association’s Annual Conference this morning, Transport Minister Paul Swain congratulated the Association on its 100th birthday, and said that the government is addressing the AA’s three birthday wishes.

Mr Swain said the AA were wanting to see roading infrastructure progress, for government to have a greater commitment to road safety, and to ensure that the freedom the car has brought to society be maintained.

“As the debate about land transport funding continues the fact is that the government has significantly increased investment in the transport sector,” said Mr Swain.

“Total land transport expenditure funding has increased from $866 million in 1998/99 to an allocated $1.1 billion for 2002/03. The National Land Transport Fund invests almost $1.6 billion in national land transport and safety funding. Regional and territorial authorities invest a further $400 million, mainly funded from rates.

“The recent release of Transit NZ’s draft 10-year state highways programme has generated a useful debate around the country,” said Mr Swain.

“It has highlighted the problem that demand for more roading projects will always outstrip our ability to pay. In addition as car engines become more efficient there is a reduction in the petrol tax collected which compounds the funding problems. This is why the government is considering alternative funding options such as public private partnerships, tolling as well as proposals from regions for regional funding solutions.

“Transit is consulting with regions over its draft programme. Regional priorities, where they can be matched with national ones, need to play a part in programme determination. I am certain we will see some changes to the funding programme being made, before final announcements are made in July.

“Soon, I will be altering the government’s Performance Agreements with Transfund and Transit, to ensure that roading programmes and projects reflect the objectives of the NZ Transport Strategy. It will also ensure that future funding decisions, whilst recognising congestion in Auckland, take account of other priorities, such as economic development and safety.

However Mr Swain said that roads were not the only answer to the country’s transport problems. The New Zealand Transport Strategy, which now guides government decision-making on transport, takes a multi-modal approach, looking at road, sea, air and rail.

Mr Swain said road safety is a major priority for this government and would continue to be so. “The government has set itself the goal of reducing the road toll to no more than 300 by 2010.

“We are making good progress, with the 404 road deaths last year being the lowest in almost 40 years. However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We are considering measures aimed at recidivist offenders such as alcohol interlocks on vehicles, expanding the use of vehicle impoundment as a penalty for drink driving and other sanctions aimed at repeat offenders.

“I’m also advised that lowering the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit and the introduction of demerit points for speed camera offences could have an important impact on reducing road deaths and injuries.

“At some stage I will be taking some options to cabinet. I can assure the AA that it will be consulted.”

“Over the last century cars have revolutionised the way we live, giving ordinary people the freedom of movement only dreamed about in previous centuries. Cars get us to work during the week and to the beach or the mountains during the weekend. They take us to the hospital when we are sick and enable us to drop off the kids at sport or music.

“On the flip side increased use of cars causes a number of problems. Road safety concerns funding pressures and the impact of the environment are some of the more obvious ones. I am keen to work in partnership with the AA on solving these issues”, said Mr Swain.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election