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Rot sets in on Joyce’s neglect of local roads

22 October 2009 Media Statement
Rot sets in on Joyce’s neglect of local roads

Manukau City ratepayers are facing a 3 percent rate rise to cover the shortfall left by the Government’s move to make major cuts to local road maintenance funding, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darren Hughes said today.

“The reality for motorists in Manukau now is crucial road maintenance is either cancelled or delayed. That maintenance is vital to keeping those roads safe,” Darren Hughes said.

“Provincial councils want to know why they are being forced to put the lives of their ratepayers at risk because Steven Joyce is hell bent on diverting money out of local roads and into major roading projects in the main centres.

“The funding for keeping provincial roads safe is a shambles. National’s new approach is to starve provincial councils of funding necessary to keep regional roads safe. Councils want to keep roads safe - who’s going to pay for it?

“Many of these roads are vital to the local economy and community and letting them go to ruin puts future earnings and motorists at risk.

Darren Hughes the Manukau City Council is now faced with the prospect of 3 percent rate rises to cover the funding gap.

“Manukau City is looking at a $7 million dollar shortfall to keep roads safe. That’s money Steven Joyce has squared away to build his pet projects.

“Those costs are likely to be shunted back on hardworking Kiwis who are already struggling to make ends meet,” Darren Hughes said.

“The cost of living is going up while wages remain stagnant; Kiwis face massive ACC levy rises; and now many are facing rate rises to keep their local roads safe.

“Keeping these provincial roads maintained and safe is important for provincial businesses and communities.
“It’s odd that Steven Joyce keeps telling councils he’s increased their roading budgets but more Mayors keep voicing their anger that they’ve actually been cut.

“How can so many people be wrong and the Minister right, and when will he realise his so-called funding increases really are a cut when compared to what councils had properly planned for?


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