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Roading projects will proceed as planned

22 February 2006

Roading projects will proceed as planned

"The government is committed to ensuring vital roading projects proceed as planned, by making up the funding shortfall," Acting Finance Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The government is not happy with the draft 10 – year programme as released by Transit New Zealand today and is working hard to ensure the State Highway Programme announced last August proceeds in full."

The Ministers’ of Finance and Transport met with the Transit chair and chief executive last year and earlier this year to discuss options to meet funding shortfalls in the proposed programme.

"The ministers have commissioned work on a range of options to close the funding gap as part of the Budget process. This work is to be completed for Cabinet consideration with decisions to be announced before the State Highway Programme is finalised in June," Trevor Mallard said.

"No options, including further borrowing, have been ruled out.

"Ministers have concerns about some of the Transit processes such as the optimum size of contracts and whether the current planning process that Transit and Land Transport New Zealand are required to go through leads to the best decisions being made.

"We will want reassurances about these matters before the next National Land Transport Programme is finalised.

"It is critical that if New Zealand is to continue along the path of economic transformation that these essential roading projects proceed as planned and this government will ensure that happens," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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