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$225 million Govt. boost for Wellington Transport

Thursday, 27 January 2005
$225 million Govt. boost for Wellington Transport

The government is to boost transport spending in the Wellington region by $225 million (excluding GST), Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Transport Minister Pete Hodgson announced today.

The cash injection arose from the Wellington Transport Project; a study by central and local government that had the support of Wellington Labour MPs, the Green Party and United Future.

The main areas for extra funding are:

$65 million to invest in existing passenger transport infrastructure and services; and,
$160 million for reducing congestion and improving access.

Dr Cullen said the additional funding, to be allocated over the next ten years, would benefit local people and the regional and national economy.

“The underinvestment in the transport system which characterised the 1990s is over. Spending in the greater Wellington area is already 88 per cent higher than under the last year of National with $122 million budgeted for the current 2004-05 year.”

Mr Hodgson said the package reflected the partnership approach being taken across all levels of government.

“Greater Wellington Regional Council, the region's Mayors and Labour MPs, with the support of the Greens and United Future, have all done a great job in securing this extra money," he said.

“This latest increase is on top of existing ten year anticipated spending allocations for transport for the Wellington region: $445 million for passenger transport, $442 million for state highways and $220 million in regional funding.

"The next challenge is to address the Western Corridor. I’m grateful here for the leadership being shown by Mana MP Winnie Laban and Otaki MP Darren Hughes. They, along with the region's Mayors, agree that it is best to await the final report of a study now underway, the preliminary findings of which are due in April," Mr Hodgson said.

Notes to Editors

Land transport spending:

The Moving Forward package, February 2002, $1.56 billion for transport nationally over the next ten years.

Investing for Growth package, December 2003, $2.84 billion nationwide over the next ten years, including $220 million for the Wellington region.
The announcement in June 2004 of the largest ever land transport spending package in New Zealand - $18.7 billion over ten years. Today's new money is in addition to this.

The Wellington Transport Project involved central government, officials from Treasury, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Economic Development, Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ), Transit, the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and the region's territorial authorities.

Spending priorities were agreed by the Minister of Transport and the region's Mayors. This group also agreed that it was appropriate to await the outcome of the final study into the Western Corridor that is due to report its preliminary findings in April. This study is being carried out by GWRC and Transit.

The $225 million (excluding GST) of new money announced today will be administered by LTNZ.

Individual projects will be decided by GWRC, Transit and the region's territorial authorities through the Regional Land Transport Committee process in consultation with local people with final decisions being made by LTNZ.

ENDS

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