Increase in road maintenance funding welcome


New Zealand’s civil contractors welcomed the increased investment in transport funding announced in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) 2021

CCNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says GPS rebalanced priorities so the country’s roads could be kept safer and better maintained, as well as investing in new improvements.

An additional $1b over the amount proposed in the 2018 Policy Statement had been added to the upper limit of funding for state highway maintenance over the next five years, and the upper limit for local road maintenance allocation had increased by $180 million over the same timeframe.

Peter said historic underinvestment in maintenance meant roads had deteriorated at a faster rate than usual and getting them back up to standard would take more effort. While the amount proposed represented a large increase, it would only go some of the way towards resolving the maintenance deficit as the road network was increasingly impacted by severe weather events and vehicle usage arising from population growth.

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"This is about getting our roads back to the standard they should be in. Over the past decade, successive GPS have required Waka Kotahi to underinvest in maintenance and that has certainly impacted on safety outcomes. Road users have noticed the difference."

Peter said the new GPS was well balanced by the NZ Upgrade Programme and Shovel-ready projects.

The additional maintenance work funded was "truly shovel-ready" and would provide essential employment in the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The GPS allocated an average of $4.8b per annum over the next decade to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. When combined with the $6.8b NZ Upgrade Programme and initiatives such as the shovel-ready projects and Provincial Growth Fund, transport investment would reach record levels across public transport, roads, rail and walking and cycling infrastructure.

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