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Joyce: $1 Billion More For State Highways

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Steven Joyce
Steven Joyce

As part of the government's Jobs and Growth plan, Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Steven Joyce have today announced almost a billion dollars of additional investment in the state highway network over the next three years.

Mr Joyce says the benefits of this will be felt across the board and around the country through new jobs, increased growth and, over time, an improved state highway network.

The additional funding over three years will come from three sources:

$420m reallocation from non-state highway classes (including savings on administration costs).

$258m in new Crown investment (paying for the NZ Transport Agency's share of Wellington Passenger rail infrastructure).

$283m increases in fuel taxes (commencing 1 October and replacing regional fuel taxes).

Mr Joyce says the plan will reverse the previous Labour government's projected decrease of 9% in the state highway budget over the next three years. "It will mean that a total of around $3 billion will be invested across the state highway network over the next three years", he said.

Mr Joyce says that the new draft Government Policy Statement shows investment in State Highway Infrastructure continuing at around 33-34% of the total fund over the 10 year horizon, instead of dropping to 22-24% as predicted in the Labour Government's Government Policy Statement (GPS).

"This will provide around $10.7 billion over 10 years for investment in the state highway network, and that is a much more appropriate level given the importance of the network to New Zealanders."

"This announcement today is about realigning the land transport programme to reflect the realities of how New Zealanders get around and how we transport our goods.

Around 70% of all freight in New Zealand goes by road, and about 84% of people go to work by car truck or motorbike, so we need good roads to grow and compete.

Our state highways represent 11% of our roading network but they cater to around 50% of the traffic.

"While some shift in transport modes will definitely occur over time, the shifts in funding that the previous government proposed would lead to greater congestion, poor safety outcomes, and greater economic and environmental inefficiency".

"This package will help to progress important roading projects like the Waikato Expressway, the Christchurch Southern Motorway, State Highway 1 from Puhoi to Wellsford and Victoria Park in Auckland," says Mr Joyce.

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