Sunday, April 14, 2024

Greater roads investment to ease pressure on local councils

The Government is stepping up to repair the North Island’s weather-battered transport network and ease the financial burden on Councils, Transport Minister, Michael Wood said today.

“The road and rail network has been hit hard by severe weather this year, and the Government is committed to both repairing these essential travel connections and not leaving ratepayers to cover the cost alone,” Mr Wood said.

“With cost of living pressures affecting many families across the country we are acutely aware that the significant cost to rebuild local roads could lead to unmanageable rates increases.

“So we’re stepping in to cover more of the costs of clearance and rebuild so Councils can get on with the work without having to rely on increasing rates.”

Within the support announced today, $275 million is earmarked for Waka Kotahi and local councils to repair affected roads and get New Zealand’s essential transport network operating again. This is on top of the $250 million the Government announced immediately after Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Through this funding Waka Kotahi will be able to consider requests from affected regions for higher levels of direct financial support to rebuild local roads.”

“We’re also investing to repair the North Island rail to restore this crucial transport connection for people and freight, with a $200 million funding injection.

“This will get our rail network back in action by investing to repair the rail tracks, sleepers, bridges, and other structures that were damaged, and to clear debris from the tracks caused by slips and washouts,” the Minister said.

Repair work will be focussed on the North Auckland Line and the Palmerston North to Gisborne Line, as well as the Auckland metropolitan network, the North Island Main Trunk and the East Coast Main Trunk.

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