Councils Tackle Govt on Big Roading Projects

The Herald reports that Local Government NZ is concerned about Transport Minister Steven Joyce’s proposed changes to transport funding.

Not only is public transport infrastructure spending to be slashed by 60%, but funding for the renewal and maintenance of local roads will also be cut by up to $225m over the next three years.

This means significant projects throughout the country in these categories will now have to be funded by local body rates or they will not proceed at all.

If the Minister of Transport is truly interested in investing in transport infrastructure for economic growth, he needs to be aware that none of the proposed roads of “national significance” have economic benefits comparable to investments in public transport and the maintenance and efficient operation of our existing local roading network.

Mr Joyce should have regard to the views of Local Government NZ, as he is required to do under the Land Transport Management Act. It is regrettable that the advice he has taken to date will not achieve the economic outcomes he seeks.

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