Tauranga City Council puts a halt on new contracts for transportation upgrade and safety projects

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 15, 2019

Delays in funding from the NZ Transport Agency have forced the Tauranga City Council to stop awarding any new transportation contracts without confirmed partnership funding from the NZTA at the expected funding assistance rate.

The decision follows a report to the council‘s urban form and transport development committee that confirmed the NZTA co-funding share for a number of transport projects programmed for the current financial year (2018/19) had not yet been received.  

NZTA provides funding assistance for local transportation projects focused on safety improvements, public transport, and walking and cycling.

Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said he understood this was a national issue and that other local authorities were experiencing the same frustrations.   

“We have been forced to stop awarding contracts, otherwise we would put the ratepayer at risk of incurring costs for projects that should rightfully be co-funded by the Government.”

Brownless said he recognised this would result in much-needed transportation projects being deferred and the council was looking to NZTA to take urgent steps to address the situation.

He emphasised that the community had paid fuel and other taxes that were used to fund this expenditure, and believed it was not fair that the processes to access that funding were slow and cumbersome.  

The projects in question are predominantly upgrades and safety improvements over $1 million in value. Maintenance of the network in its current form will continue.

Council chief executive Marty Grenfell is to consult with the NZTA to look at the available options and next steps and to report back to council within two weeks.