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Contractors applaud Wellington highway “vision”

Media Release – for immediate release

15 December 2009

Contractors applaud Government for Wellington highway “vision”

The New Zealand Contractors’ Federation has applauded the Government’s vision and commitment to the Wellington Northern Corridor.

“Finally we have a commitment to an integrated and strategic upgrade of this very important 100km stretch of State Highway 1 from Levin to Wellington Airport, including Transmission Gully,” said NZCF Chief Executive Jeremy Sole.

“The economic and social benefits of this 10-year project will be enormous and it will help to stimulate growth and prosperity throughout the lower North Island.”

Mr Sole said the announcement and commitment to progress the four-lane expressway in three stages over the next decade was also a much needed boost for the country’s contracting sector.

“We’re talking about significant individual projects within this overall plan, including Transmission Gully and new Wellington tunnels for The Terrace and Mt Victoria. Our industry has the expertise and commitment to deliver these projects on time and to budget and we look forward to showcasing our world-class capabilities.

“Now that the Government has drawn a line in the sand and committed to a realistic timeframe our sector can begin working behind the scenes to ensure we have the manpower and plant available to begin work as soon as appropriate stages are consented.”

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However, Mr Sole warned that the industry was facing a severe downturn in current work programmes, meaning many firms around the country were struggling financially.

“Many contracting firms are reaching a critical point where their existence is threatened. The Government needs to ensure a pipeline of work is available in the short term by ensuring projects it has already committed to begin sooner rather than later. That will help to ensure the industry retains the capacity for medium term projects such as the Wellington Northern Corridor.”


ENDS

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