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State Highway plan extended for extra year

Cullen & King announce State Highway plan extended for extra year

The guaranteed five-year State Highway Plan announced in the Budget will become a guaranteed six-year plan to give the land transport sector even greater certainty, Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Transport Minister Annette King said today.

The plan will still be updated at three-yearly intervals. Dr Cullen said the Government wants the roading construction industry to have enough information to make sure it has the capacity and capability to do the work expected of it, particularly given the considerable extra funding the Government has provided.

"Extending the State Highway Plan to six years means that there will be at least three years of certainty for Transit New Zealand, local government and the construction industry at any point in the plan, including at its three yearly update. This Government is committed to improving New Zealand's transport infrastructure and this change will help do just that."

Annette King says the extension will allow better synchronisation between central and local government planning cycles.

Officials are finalising the details on how the revenue and cost guarantees will work and how the update process will be undertaken, she says. "This work will now include how and when to add a sixth year to the current five year State Highway plan guarantee.

"The Labour-led government regards a world-class transport network, which moves people and goods safely, sustainably and efficiently, as a centrepiece of our drive to transform the New Zealand economy."

"The $1.3 billion in additional money provided in the 2006 Budget for state highways, local roads and passenger transport is already flowing, but the Government wants to continue to provide greater certainty in the land transport sector."

ENDS

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