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Joyce: Billion Dollar State Highway Investment Confirmed

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Steven Joyce
Steven Joyce

19 May 2009 - The government has today confirmed that it will invest an extra billion dollars in the state highway network over the next three years with the release of its revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding (GPS).

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the new GPS will ensure economic growth and productivity are the primary objectives for investment in land transport infrastructure and services.

"The government is committed to lifting productivity, creating and protecting jobs and helping get our goods to market faster.

"Strong investment in our state highways and the completion of major roading works is one of the initiatives that will deliver on these priorities."

Funding for State highway construction has increased significantly on levels indicated in the previous GPS to 35 percent of the total National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), with over $1 billion of additional investment going into the network over the next three years.

The NLTF will provide around $10.7 billion over 10 years for investment in State highways, reflecting the importance of the network to New Zealanders.

"Around 70 percent of all freight in New Zealand goes by road, and about 84 percent of people go to work by car truck or motorbike, so we need good roads to grow and compete. The new GPS is a reflection of that," says Mr Joyce.

Additional funding over the three-year period of the current GPS will come from: $420m reallocation of expenditure within the fund $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 partially replacing regional fuel taxes).

Investment levels across the other major activity classes will continue to increase from the levels for the 2008/09 financial year, and the government's railway investments will be made largely separate from the NLTF.

"The government will continue to invest in metro commuter services in Auckland and Wellington, including completion of the DART project and electrification in Auckland," says Mr Joyce.

"Investment in the rail freight network will be made subject to achieving a reasonable commercial return over time.

"This GPS will ensure more efficient and cost effective allocation of funding from the NLTF and see long term transport infrastructure investment that better reflects the realities of how New Zealanders get around and how we transport our goods.

"Achieving better value for money from all existing expenditure in the fund will also ensure progress will continue to be made in all areas of the transport sector."

The GPS is the main government document for influencing land transport planning and funding. It sets out how funding is allocated between areas such as road safety policing, State highways, local roads and public transport. The GPS 2009/10 - 2018/19, as amended in May 2009, replaces the GPS released in August 2008 in full.

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