Sunday, March 3, 2024

NZTA to assist with $234m Marlborough roads bill

The New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) board has agreed to provide Marlborough District Council with its indicative decision on funding repairs and improvements to the Marlborough Sounds roading network.

The Agency has endorsed the programme business case prepared by Council and engineering consultancy Stantec, which identified $146 million for road repairs, $48 million for long term road resilience improvements and $40 million for marine infrastructure adaptation improvements.

The Board indicated it is willing to fund 71% of the road repairs and 51% of road improvements as their financial assistance rates, subject to further detailed design work.

Mayor Nadine Taylor said she warmly welcomed the news.

“This is a big step forward – the people of Marlborough will be relieved to hear the Government is supporting our business case and funding a significant proportion of the repairs and improvements.”

“However, the remaining portion of these costs will fall to ratepayers who will need to consider who pays what through our Long Term Plan process next year. As I’ve always said, this is something our whole community – all of Marlborough – will have to consider,” she said.

Marlborough District Council Mayor, Nadine Taylor.

It includes the proposed marine infrastructure improvements which are also part of the Long Term Plan funded by Council.

The Mayor said further discussions will be held with the Government on future marine resilience funding prospects.

“It paves the way for the repair programme to get underway as soon the local share of funding is confirmed in mid-2024, and designs are finalised.”

The largest proportion of the repair programme is for the Kenepuru, at $94 million, followed by Te Aumiti/French Pass at $26 million, Queen Charlotte Drive at $14 million, Te Whanganui/Port Underwood $11 million and Te Hoiere/Pelorus $2 million.

The longer term improvements funding of $48 million, including design and planning, is: Te Aumiti/French Pass $15. million; Kenepuru $12 million; Te Whanganui/Port Underwood $8 million; Queen Charlotte Drive $6 million; and Te Hoiere/Pelorus $4 million.

“I’d like to thank everyone who gave their feedback and attended the public meetings this year. Also to the Stantec and Council team who worked hard to put together our programme business case, which is now an example to other councils about how they fund their recoveries from this year’s storm and cyclone events,” said Mayor Taylor.

She also thanked NZTA for its on-going support.

“NZTA has worked very closely with us and I appreciate their guidance and help. Previous funding allocations for Marlborough’s storm recoveries – of $85.3 million, $52.39 million and $3.45 million, totalling $141.14 million – were provided at a 95% assistance rate.”

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