NZ Transport Authority must sort out highway issues

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 4, 2018

Quality issues on our new motorways are becoming an epidemic and the NZ Transport Authority must get on top of the problem, says Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley.

“Evidence that the new Waikato Expressway is developing ruts and breaking up comes hard on the heels of similar build quality issues with the new Kapiti highway and proves that there is an endemic problem with the way NZTA manages their roading projects,” says Shirley.

“These projects cost motorists and commercial road transport operators hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, paid for through fuel excise and road user charges. The very least New Zealanders should expect is that the projects are undertaken to a reasonable minimum standard.”

Shirley says the country can‘t have a situation where after a few months the surface starts deteriorating because water has been allowed to seep into the seal.

“Yes, occasionally we have some extreme weather events in New Zealand such as Cyclone Gita but resilience to those must surely be built into project planning and supervision.”

He says the question needs to be asked as to whether NZTA actually has the technical competencies to ensure that the contracted work meets the required specifications.

“The Agency needs to start focusing on its core role of properly building, maintaining and managing our state highway network. It‘s all very nice to be doing things like running seminars for Wellington bureaucrats on what the world will look like in 2050, but New Zealanders expect NZTA to do the basics properly first,” says Shirley.