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Councils won’t bear burden of fixing local roads

Hon Gerry Brownlee

Minister of Transport


16 July 2014 Media Statement

Councils won’t bear burden of fixing local roads

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Northlanders can count on the Government’s financial support for repairs to the region’s storm-damaged local roading network.

“This is on top of repairs to the State highway network, which are already well underway,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is working with Northland councils right now to assess the full extent of damage to the roading network, and funding will be available where and when it’s most needed to re-establish transport links and support the region’s recovery.

“NZTA will provide emergency works funding through the National Land Transport Fund to enable it and local authorities to respond to the immediate effects of the flooding, including managing temporary road closures and establishing detours, and to allow for damaged roads to be repaired.

“NZTA’s emergency works policy ensures funding assistance rates provided for emergency works through the National Land Transport Fund are greater than standard assistance rates.

“This funding increases in line with the extent of damage – the greater the cost of repairing damaged roads, the greater the emergency works funding assistance rates.

“A number of elements are taken into account when formulating these rates, but if the cost of repairing the damage is great enough the emergency rate can see central Government picking up in excess of 90 per cent of the bill.

“While the level of funding required for repairing Northland’s roads following this week’s storms won’t be known until a full assessment is complete, the process of assessing damage and estimating repair costs is well underway.

“Contrary to some recent commentary suggesting Northland’s roading network has been underfunded, over the past five years (2009/10 to 2013/14) the Government has provided $23 million for emergency works to repair local roads in Northland, in addition to $14 million in emergency works funding for state highways.

“Over the same period the total investment in the region’s local road and state highway network through the National Land Transport Fund has been $480 million.”

Mr Brownlee says NZTA contractors are working around the clock, with assistance from extra Civil Defence staff brought north from Auckland, to establish a new detour around the slip on SH1 at Kawakawa, which the Transport Agency aims to have in use by the end of the week.

“State Highway 1 is a life-line for Northland, and re-opening it as soon as possible is the agency’s number one priority.”

ENDS


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