Moves made on first Roads of National Significance

In News5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 5, 2024

NZTA Waka Kotahi has announced it will begin procurement, enabling works and construction for the first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects in the next three years.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown said he is pleased to see NZTA taking the first steps to deliver upon the Government’s plan for New Zealand’s transport network.

“Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving at pace to progress a new generation of RoNS across the country to support economic growth and get people and freight to where they want to go, quickly and safely,” he said. The Government is prioritising 17 Roads of National Significance, which were recently highlighted in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS).

“NZTA has now appointed project teams to accelerate consenting, property acquisition, and design. They are engaging construction partners to progress the first phase of seven RoNS projects, with an aim to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years,’ said Brown.

Takitimu North Link Stage 1 is already underway with Ōtaki to North of Levin to begin construction next year. NZTA is now adding to the Roads of National Significance pipeline with the next phase of project,s which include Belfast to Pegasus (including the Woodend Bypass), the Hawke’s Bay Expressway, SH1 Cambridge to Piarere, SH29 Tauriko, Takitimu North Link Stage 2, Mill Road, and Warkworth to Wellsford.

“NZTA intends to approach the Northland Roads of National Significance as a single strategic corridor, with Warkworth to Wellsford the first section being focussed on,” said Brown.

“In addition to the first phase of seven RoNS projects, investigations and project planning for the remaining eight will also start in the next three years. We are committed to delivering a significant pipeline of transport infrastructure which will unlock economic growth and productivity across New Zealand and help Kiwis get where they need to go quickly and safely,” he said.

“New Zealand needs fast-track legislation to ensure that we have a pipeline of consented infrastructure projects, such as the Roads of National Significance. “Investments in these essential corridors will make it easier for New Zealanders to get where they need to go, create a more productive and resilient transport network, drive economic growth, and unlock land for thousands of new houses.”

James Smith, GM Policy & Advocacy, National Road Carriers, said the announcement from NZTA is welcome news for the freight sector.

“The appointment of a project team to accelerate consenting, property acquisition, and design, in combination with the engagement of construction partners for the first seven roads shows this Government is serious about investing in infrastructure,” Smith said.

“It provides much needed certainty to the construction companies who can now invest in the people, resources and technology needed to deliver these critical projects.”

Smith said well planned roading that enables freight to be delivered safely and efficiently has been asked for by the transport industry for years.

“It is extremely pleasing to see the Coalition Government is delivering on its transport promises. The infrastructure can has been kicked down the road for far too long and action is long overdue,” he said.

“Better roading delivers for all New Zealanders, the economic growth that will be unlocked by the RONs will not only facilitate efficient movement of goods and services and boost local economies it also contributes to the overall well-being and prosperity of the country.

“These roads well known pain points across the network, prioritising progress on the RONs promises to both improve and save the lives of those who use them. This announcement is very much welcomed by NRC members.”