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Minister welcomes progress on Puhoi to Wellsford

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister of Transport

17 November 2010

Media Statement

Minister welcomes progress on Puhoi to Wellsford

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the NZ Transport Agency is making good progress on the Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance – the least-developed of the seven RoNS projects.

NZTA has today announced details of the planned route between Puhoi, at the end of the new Northern Gateway Toll Road, and Warkworth. This is the first of two stages of the road which will eventually go all the way to Wellsford in the north.

“No work had been done on this project prior to it being confirmed as a road of national significance last year so this is great progress. On our current timetable this will be the fastest ever major highway project completed in this country from start to finish."

Mr Joyce says at this early stage the first half of the road from Puhoi to Warkworth is on track to be completed within the ten year period but the second half (Warkworth to Wellsford) remains challenging to finish in that time.

“The government has committed nearly $11 billion for new state highway projects over ten years to accelerate development of the network and substantially progress the RoNS programme.

“The challenge for this project is not so much the funding but getting the design, consultation and consenting processes all done from a standing start.”

Mr Joyce says, when finished, the new road will bring significant benefits to the Northland and Rodney districts, as well as to Auckland.

"The Puhoi to Wellsford corridor has been identified as one of our most essential state highway routes to reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth in our largest city and points North."

Completing the Puhoi to Wellsford road of national significance will deliver significant benefits, including:

• enhance inter regional and national economic growth and productivity

• improve movement of freight and people between Auckland and Northland

• improve the connectivity between key growth areas in the north Rodney area

• improve reliability of the transport network through a more robust and safer route between Auckland and Northland

• provide further route security for Northland residents

ENDS

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