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Road to Zero strategy must be locally accountable to succeed

LGNZ broadly supports the Road to Zero Safety Strategy, saying that its success will depend on government and NZTA improving their relationships with local communities, who directly fund this core infrastructure through fuel taxes and rates.

Local councils are responsible for 88 per cent of New Zealand’s road network, representing 83,000km of roads. In the year ending 30 June 2018, local government spent over $2.9 billion in operating expenditure on road infrastructure.

Safety improvements in many councils’ regional land transport plans have been delayed for the last 12 months, so we’re hopeful that today’s strategy launch is a signal that the Government is coming to the party to co-invest in these improvements

“It’s important that our central government agencies listen to the safety concerns of local people. Where speed limits need adjusting, that’s fine, but we also need to look at improving the quality of roads as a solution,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.

“Roading is a complex system that is vital to every New Zealander, and territorial authorities, unitary councils and regional councils all play an important role in the planning, funding and delivery of the transport system.”

“New Zealand really needs this strategy to be a success. There is far too much suffering on our roads and if you talk to any local they’ll tell you where the problem areas are – let’s use that knowledge to improve our roads,” concluded Cull.

*Ends*

For more information, please contact LGNZ Senior Communications Advisor Daniel Webster on 022 524 1217 or email daniel.webster@lgnz.co.nz.

About LGNZ and local government in New Zealand

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. LGNZ advocates for local democracy, develops local government policy, and promotes best practice and excellence in leadership, governance and service delivery. Through its work strengthening sector capability, LGNZ contributes to the economic success and vibrancy of communities and the nation.

The local government sector plays an important role. In addition to giving citizens a say in how their communities are run, councils own a broad range of community assets worth more than $120 billion. These include 90 per cent of New Zealand's road network, the bulk of the country's water and waste water networks, and libraries, recreation and community facilities. Council expenditure is approximately $8.5 billion dollars, representing approximately 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 11 per cent of all public expenditure.

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