$800m transport investment for Bay of Plenty recognises its contribution to national economy


The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has today announced the details of an approximate $800 million programme of investment in Bay of Plenty'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 Bay of Plenty'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, Harry Wilson, says the investment in the Bay of Plenty region will also ensure the region’s number one priority, the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL), stays on track for completion in 2016.  ‘Approximately $300 million will go to the ongoing construction of the Tauranga Eastern Link, the Bay of Plenty region’s Road of National Significance (RoNS),’ says Mr Wilson.

He says the completion of the Tauranga Eastern Link will provide long-term benefits, reducing the length of the journey for freight and other road users in the region. ‘The construction of the Tauranga Eastern Link also provides more immediate benefits - such as real jobs for real people.’

Mr Wilson adds that the transport investment in the Bay of Plenty 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:

  • $265 million will be invested in maintenance, operations and renewals on the whole network, with $136 million of this on local roads – an increase of 5% on investment in the 2009–12 period.
  • Progression of improvement projects including the Maunganui–Girven Intersection, Hairini Link – Stage 4 and the Rotorua Eastern Arterial.
  • Delivery of the Safer Journeys action plan as part of the development of the State Highway 2 North and State Highway 29 (on the eastern side of the Kaimais) safe system programmes.
  • The NLTF will contribute approximately $15.5 million to the operation of the Bay of Plenty passenger transport network.
  • Work to ensure a more secure and resilient transport network will include a particular focus on:
    • the eastern Bay of Plenty sub-region meeting the demands of heavy vehicles using the Port of Tauranga.

The investment in the Bay of Plenty 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, he says.  ‘However, this round of the NLTP demonstrates a substantial increase in investment for the Bay of Plenty region overall – reflecting the region as a key contributor to 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 Bay of Plenty 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).