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RMA Delays Road Construction At Least Six Years

Delays and enormous costs caused by the Resource Management Act are slowing down the construction of roading networks, said ACT Transport spokesman, Penny Webster.

In answer to parliamentary written questions the Minister of Transport, Mark Gosche, has admitted that major roading projects are held up by at least 6 years while investigation, consultation and environmental court proceedings take place. These steps are compulsory under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“The cost of these hold ups to project development can be 10-12 per cent of the project’s entire cost.

“If you look at the proposed ALPUT development from Orewa to Puhoi at an indicative total cost of $88.8 million or Wellington’s Transmission Gully route at $245 million, one has to question how much of that expense is RMA costs and how much is construction?

“Traffic congestion caused by incomplete roading networks are placing a high burden on New Zealand, both economically and environmentally. It is estimated that traffic congestion costs Auckland over $800 million per year.

“The environmental costs of traffic congestion due to insufficient roadways are also unacceptably high. The Auckland Regional Council recently stated that vehicles ‘perform poorly and pollute more when they are idling in long queues.’

“Sue Kedgley’s calls for regular emission testing does not address this issue. Testing will impose huge compliance costs on vehicles throughout New Zealand when it is only selected urban areas facing pollution. Sue Kedgley should advocate an RMA review and road network completion to minimise the environmental impacts of exhaust emissions.

“It would be a huge shame if the completion of the Auckland roading network, and other roads such as Transmission Gully, were stalled due to unnecessary bureaucracy costs,” said Penny Webster.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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