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Billion dollar transport investment for Waikato recognises
its contribution to national economy

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has today announced the details of an approximate $1.3 billion programme of investment in Waikato's land transport system over the next three years.

The 2012-15 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) aims to improve the efficiency and safety of Waikato’s roading network, maximise freight movements and reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads. 

The NLTP is a partnership between local authorities (who invest funding from ratepayers and propose activities and projects for funding) and the NZTA (which develops the programme and invests funds from road users through the NLTF – the National Land Transport Fund).

NZTA Regional Director, says the investment in the Waikato region will also ensure the region’s number one priority, the Waikato Expressway, stays on track for completion in 2019.

“Approximately $590 million will go to the ongoing construction of the Waikato Expressway, the Waikato region’s Road of National Significance (RoNS),” says Mr Wilson. “We also expect that between 2012 and 2015, the Te Rapa, Ngaruawahia and Rangiriri sections of the Expressway should be completed and significant progress will have been made on the Tamahere and Cambridge sections.”

He says the completion of the Expressway will provide long-term benefits, reducing the length of the journey for freight and other road users by 20 minutes between Auckland and Cambridge. “The construction of the Expressway also provides more immediate benefits - such as real jobs for real people.”

Mr Wilson adds that the transport investment in the Waikato region is also part of an overall $6 billion investment in the Upper North Island (Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty combined) over the next three years.

Mr Wilson says other regional highlights from this round of the NLTP include:

  • $485 million will be invested in maintenance, operations and renewals on the whole network, with $300 million of this on local roads – an increase of 7.6% on investment in the 2009–12 period.
  • $100–150 million of NLTP investment in new infrastructure will be used to progress a number of other state highway and NZTA-partnered projects across the Waikato region, including the development of the Hamilton Ring Road.
  • The replacement of the Atiamuri Bridge on State Highway 1 during this NLTP will improve productivity for HPMV vehicles travelling between Tokoroa and Taupo will ensure road security and improve road safety.
  • The NLTF will contribute approximately $25 million to the operation of the Waikato passenger transport network.
  • Delivery of the Safer Journeys action plan as part of the development of the State Highway 2 and Coromandel safe system programmes, considerable investment in the regions road safety education activities, and in road policing activities. These activities will support the numerous safety and traffic improvement projects programmed to be completed across the region.
  • Work will continue of providing a more secure and resilient transport network through the establishment of a regional network plan.

The investment in the Waikato region is part of a $12.28 billion investment in New Zealand’s land transport system set out in the 2012-15 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), including $9.38 billion from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).

Mr Wilson says the 2012-15 NLTP follows the direction outlined in the Government Policy Statement on land transport funding (GPS), with a focus on creating transport solutions that will support economic growth, improve safety, provide people with a range of transport choices and deliver the best possible value for money.

While the 2012-15 NLTP represents a significant investment in New Zealand’s transport system, with the country facing tight economic conditions not all proposed activities could be funded New Zealand’s economy.”

“That doesn’t mean we’ve lost sight of the pressures that funding our roads puts on individual households, we know these are tough times. However, building our economy is important even during a recession. Ensuring our roading network is safe, accessible and secure for all road users including freight, is essential in achieving this for all New Zealanders."  

“We’ve also been working closely with our council partners to ensure that funding is carefully targeted to the areas and the activities where it is needed the most and where it will deliver the best outcomes for the greatest number of people in the region.”

The preparation of the 2012-15 NLTP has been informed by the Waikato Regional Transport Committee.  “We’d like to thank them for their hard work and effort that has led to this significant investment in the region’s transport system,” says Mr Wilson. “We will continue to work closely with councils as the NLTP is implemented over the next three years.”

National and regional NLTP documents, Q&As and other information is available on the NZTA website at www.nzta.govt.nz/nltp(external link)

For more information please contact:

Kaye Whittle
Senior Communications Advisor
Engagement and Communications
Waikato/Bay of Plenty
NZ Transport Agency
DDI 64 07 958 7260
M 027 292 8076
E kaye.whittle@nzta.govt.nz

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