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Roads of Significance will be built : Ō2NL

Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced on Monday more so-called Roads of Significance will be built. The new ones are not of National Significance, but Regional Significance, though Ō2NL still makes the list of roads considered to be of National Significance.

This includes a major change to decision-making: no longer do ministers decide on scope and funding decisions. That will be a job for NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA), Brown said.

Roads of National and Regional Significance programmes would replace the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) kickstarted by the previous Government.

“All decision-making responsibilities around the project would be delegated to NZ Transport Agency,” Brown said, rather the ministers. He said ministers would no longer determine project scope and funding decisions, which were “leading to project delays and scope creep under the previous Government,” the NZ Heraldreported on Monday morning.

Brown said the NZUP, which Roads of Regional and National Significance projects will replace, was subject to “significant cost blowouts that resulted in project cancellations and delays across the country”.

“When we came to government, we were advised that there would be a significant funding gap of up to $1.5 billion to deliver the NZUP projects. This is in addition to the cost increases which resulted in major project cancellations under the previous Government, such as Mill Rd.”

Brown, along with Finance Minister Nicola Willis, had agreed to delegate all decision-making responsibilities around project scope and delivery to NZTA.

Ministers will no longer be determining transport project scope and funding decisions because he believed it was leading to project delays under the previous Government.

The new plan comes with cost restrictions though, Brown said. “In order to continue to deliver these projects, difficult decisions were made to keep costs within the existing $6.54 billion funding. We have made clear to NZTA that it must deliver these projects within the existing funding envelope, as there will be no additional Crown funding.”

Mark Kinvig, national manager of infrastructure delivery, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, said that it welcomed the Government announcement and is looking forward to continuing on with these projects at pace with a focus on delivery.

“No new funding will be allocated, and the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi... has been delegated authority to manage the current projects within the existing baseline funding of $6.54 billion for NZTA projects.

“NZTA will complete delivery of 12 projects currently in construction and procurement. This range of projects includes two Roads of National Significant (Rons), originally started as Rons several years ago, and progressed more recently under NZUP (Takitimu Stage 1 and 2, and Ōtaki to North of Levin).”

The Roads of Regional Significance are:

  • Penlink

  • Waihoehoe Rd

  • SH1 Papakura to Drury

  • SH1/29 Intersection

  • SH58 Improvements Stage 2

  • Melling

  • Canterbury Package: Rural Intersections

  • Canterbury Package: Rolleston Upgrade

  • Canterbury Package: Halswell

  • Queenstown package

The Roads of National Significance are:

  • Takitimu North Link Stage 1

  • Ōtaki to North of Levin

Read original article by NZME here