Government keeps projects on road to completion

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 6, 2020

Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced that transport projects currently in construction will continue at pace due to extra government support for transport projects to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

To keep the $16.9 billion 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme going the government has allocated funding from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund in light of the effect of the pandemic on the transport budget. It has:                                    

  • made $425 million borrowing available to the NZTA to fill the gap for 2019/20, to be repaid over the following seven years;

  • provided a $600 million top-up from the CRRF to the National Land Transport Fund to cover the impact of reduced revenue and Covid-related expenditure; and

  • indicated that up to $300 million additional borrowing could be made available to the NZTA if required for further support.

Twyford said without this support, approved projects would have been deferred or cancelled.

“The NZTA will have the funding needed to keep building infrastructure despite lower revenue being collected from petrol excise duty and road user charges due to Covid.

“This means we will continue to roll out our road maintenance programme, complete projects like the Waikato Expressway, and get new projects like the Manawatu Gorge replacement highway underway.”

Twyford said this supports the government‘s five-point plan for economic recovery by creating jobs through tackling New Zealand‘s infrastructure deficit.

“The pandemic has hammered the transport system and we‘ve worked hard to keep it moving given how vital it is to the economy and communities.

“Our government has met the increased costs of public transport until the end of the year since councils are struggling to pay their share. We are investing around $210 million to make sure that buses and trains will keep running to reduce emissions and congestion in our cities.

“We‘re also supporting our aviation system through our $600 million aviation relief package to keep freight flowing, support businesses and maintain essential connectivity,” Twyford said.