Monday, 17 July 2023 16:55

National announces new roading policy

Written by  Staff Reporters
National Party transport spokesperson Simeon Brown. National Party transport spokesperson Simeon Brown.

The National Party has announced it will establish a Pothole Repair Fund to urgently address the state of local roads and state highways.

National’s transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says the policy will see a number of measures introduced to tackle the issue. These include:

  • A $500m fund to be established for state highway and local roading repairs
  • A new directive to New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to double the current rate of roading renewals
  • Halve the standard response rate for pothole repair from 48 to 24 hours

“In 2022, over 54,000 potholes needed repair on State Highways around New Zealand, the highest number in ten years,” says Brown.

“Potholes are a safety hazard and have been causing significant damage and disruption to freight and motorists all over the country.”

Brown says the cost of the fund will be met by reprioritising spending within the National Land Transport Programme, including a reduction in expenditure on activities which he says unnecessarily slow traffic down such as speed limit reductions, speed bump installation and the Road to Zero advertising campaign. The funding from those programmes, he says, would go towards the road repair programme.

“National will also introduce new rules for pothole repair on State Highways, including halving the standard response time for pothole repair from 48 to 24 hours, and introducing a requirement for NZTA to undertake renewal and rehabilitation work on at least 2% of the roading network each year, more than double the current rate,” he says.

The National Party policy has already gained the support of the National Road Carriers Association (NRC), which represents truckers across the country.

“Potholes are a continual hazard for road freight deliveries as well as the general public – we’ve seen record numbers of them, and a clear priority to address them is well overdue,” says NRC chief executive Justin Tighe-Umbers.

Tighe-Umbers says NZTA has been stretched and asked to complete everything from modal shift to public transport, rail, emissions reduction, and the Road to Zero campaign, all without the extra budget or people necessary to carry out the changes.

“As a result, the focus on getting the basics right – road maintenance – has clearly slipped,” he says. “The National Party’s policy gives clear direction to NZTA to focus on the table stakes essential for drivable roads.

“It is critical that we not only keep up with the two per cent run rate needed each year to replace the roading asset, but that we actually do more to recover the decades we’ve been falling behind.”

More like this

New minister's hort focus

The new Minister of Horticulture, Nicola Grigg, says the reason that she came into Parliament was because of her interest in and commitment to agriculture.

Back to the backbench

Former Labour agriculture and trade minister Damien O'Connor hopes the new coalition Governent will continue the direction of travel initiated by his government in terms of ensuring the high reputation of our primary exports.

New Government has a lot to do

Former agriculture minister and speaker of Parliament Sir David Carter says the new National-led coalition faces significantly more important issues to deal with than previous governments.

Better laws for farmers

The new chair of Parliament’s primary production select committee, Mark Cameron, is promising “better law making” for the sector.

Featured

M. bovis - we need to be vigilant

From November 1, 2023, Ministry for Primary Industries’ Mycoplasma bovis Eradication Programme has been contracted out to disease management agency OSPRI, as it enters a long-term surveillance phase.

It's in our (trees') DNA

A recent Plant & Food Research study comparing the DNA of trees commonly called manuka in New Zealand and Australia has found such significant genetic differences between the two that the researchers are now recommending the two plants be designated as different species.

Weather back to normal?

MetService meteorologist James Millward says the country’s weather patterns are now on a much more even footing.

National

Roadshow for sheep farmers

Sheep farmers, facing low farmgate prices, are being urged to attend a national woolshed roadshow announced by the Government.

Digitalising rural healthcare

When it comes to rural healthcare in New Zealand, there is no one more tuned in than John Macaskill-Smith, CEO…

Machinery & Products

Kubota tests diesel engines

Kubota last month used the UK LAMMA Show to test the water with its new 200hp, four-cylinder 09-series diesel engines.

Stone collection made easier

Usually a task given to higher horsepower tractors, stone picking looks like its moved down the horsepower charts, to anyone…

A very handy piece

Handypiece is a fully portable shearing handpiece being used by thousands of farmers and ag workers, in diverse roles across…

Killing weed seeds in a single pass

John Deere's X-Series Combine Harvesters can now be complemented by the advanced weed control capability of Redekop’s Seed Control Unit…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Feds power!

OPINION: Your canine crusader reckons no single lobby group has had a bigger turnaround in fortunes than Federated Farmers since…

The DCM award

OPINION: This old mutt suggests the 'don't come Monday' (DCM) award (in other words, resign) must go to the heartless,…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter