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Government green lights Northland roading

Government green lights Northland roading

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Drivers can look forward to smoother motoring in Northland thanks to a multi-billion dollar roading programme unveiled in the Labour-led government's Budget 2006.

The Budget commits an unprecedented $13.4 billion - including $1.3 billion in new money - over the next five years to guarantee and accelerate New Zealand's largest ever road-building programme.

Local MP Dover Samuels said the programme includes commitments to complete important local roading projects including:

State Highway 1 in the Far North from Waitiki Landing to Cape Reinga and State Highway 1 from Awanui to Whangarei Akerama Curves Realignment.

"National says they would move all petrol tax to the road user fund over a six year period. Under this Budget package, our Labour-led government is spending $300 million more over the next five years on land transport than it will earn through petrol duties, road user and vehicle registration charges," Dover Samuels said.

"For the first time the programme will be revisited annually to account for revenue reductions and cost escalations. This is a great shift from the past system of funding in one-year blocks. Now Northland can have certainty and confidence that roads important to our region will get built.

"Not only is our government investing in safer and more efficient roads for us, these projects are strategically important to our region's growth, and our ability to contribute to New Zealand's economic transformation." Dover Samuels said.

"This will assure New Zealanders that the Labour-led government regards a world-class transport network as a centrepiece of our drive to transform the New Zealand economy," Transport Minister Annette King said.

Precise funding allocations will be decided by Land Transport New Zealand.

ENDS

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