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Clarification of accelerated transport spending

Clarification of accelerated transport spending

Land Transport New Zealand is accelerating the nation's transport spending by allocating all available funds to projects that are ready to proceed now. Over the next two years it will spend more money than it receives. It is doing this to reduce, to about zero, an earlier surplus.

"Land Transport New Zealand will not sit on a surplus and see money un-spent. It is committed to getting on with the job of investing in New Zealand's transport infrastructure. It is allocating National, Regional and Crown funds to projects as the money becomes available. As more projects suitable for funding from Regional money are advanced to a stage where money can be spent on them, that money will be made available," says Minister of Transport Pete Hodgson.

"In some cases, that means money will be made available for different projects from different sources. However, over the ten years, all of the money forecast to be made available for regional spending, from the five cents on petrol tax and from the Crown, will be spent exactly as planned and announced last June. Apart from trivial adjustments, there has been no change."

Mr Hodgson was responding to a public submission by Auckland City Council which he said was based on a wrong analysis.

"Every region in New Zealand makes a contribution towards projects other than state highways. Auckland is no different. The $900 million funding boost announced for the region from the Crown Account in 2003 was granted on the condition that the region would continue to pay its fair share towards regional projects. There has been no change to the conditions under which Land Transport New Zealand allocates money within the Auckland region."

"This approach means that instead of projects being delayed, many are being built faster than would otherwise be the case."

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