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Auckland transport funding at record levels

Auckland transport funding at record levels

Transport funding in Auckland is running at record levels says Minister for Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard.

"As Dr Don Brash said on 1 April: 'over the last 20 years, our level of investment in new roading infrastructure has lagged seriously behind the growth in traffic.' What he neglected to add was that his party needs to take the lion's share of the responsibility for this. National left a huge infrastructure deficit but this government is getting on with the job of putting it right," said Judith Tizard.

"This government has twice boosted funding to correct this. The Moving Forward package in 2002 delivered an extra $1.56 billion over ten years. A good start, but it was not enough. In December 2003, we announced the Investing for Growth package that boosted this by another $2.84 billion over ten years, including $900 million from the Crown Account for Auckland."

Around $1 billion of transport projects have recently been completed, are underway or set to start in the near future in the Auckland region. A further $114 million is budgeted for road maintenance in the 2004/05 year.

"Now Land Transport New Zealand is spending all the money available to it to accelerate projects across the region. This year, more than 78 per cent more is being spent on getting Auckland moving that was under the last year under National, and there's years more investment to come."

"National's plan is to put the burden of roading costs squarely onto the taxpayer. Each year, around twice as much money is paid out from the Crown Account to cover roading-related costs than goes into from petrol tax. National plans to stop this money going in, leaving the taxpayer with a $2.1 billion black hole to fill over the next six years. What will they cut? Will it be health or education? Or will National whack up the national debt and increase pressure on interest rates?"

"But already, Dr Don Brash and his colleagues have promised to spend far more than this on additional roading projects around the country, including a plan announced by North Shore National MP, Wayne Mapp to sink the whole lot, and an extra $500 million on top, into a $2.64 billion tunnel.

"National's transport funding programme is nothing more than smoke and mirrors made worse by promising to spend the same dollar more than once. This government is honest about its plans and how they will be paid for."

Major projects recently completed, now underway and scheduled to start next year include:

SH 20 Manukau extension $174 million SH 20 Mt Roskill extension $167 million Central Motorway Junction (phase one) $55 million Central Motorway Junction (phase two) $140 million Greenhithe Deviation $94 million Grafton Gully $67 million Upper Harbour Bridge duplication $37 million Esmonde Road Interchange $36 million Widening of Whangaparoa Road $13 million Manukau’s Waiouru extension $49 million Northern Busway $180 million Rail rolling stock improvements $36.7 million Design of the central transport corridor $1.3 million

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