Farmers question transport policies

THE release of National and Labour transport policies this week has left Federated Farmers questioning where the benefits are for Gisborne in either plan.

“Both parties’ announcements contain nothing for this region,” Federated Farmers Gisborne-Wairoa president Charlie Reynolds said yesterday.

“Both are focused on the big urban vote. When you look at how much the agriculture, forestry and horticulture sectors pay in road user charges each year, we pay so much and receive very little.”

Speaking to TV One News on Tuesday, Mr Reynolds added that he had to battle broken roads near his farm every day.

“The easiest way to describe it would be the worst farm track you’ve ever been on. Gisborne doesn’t seem to be receiving a cent and we’re struggling,” he told One News.

“We need around $40 to $60 million just to bring the roads back up to standard, so $200 million. Well you know Gisborne can eat that in seconds.”

Labour’s Transport spokesman Michael Wood said on Tuesday that the party’s regional roads policy would double the funding range for these roads from $70m to $140m nationwide, to $140m to $280m a year.

“This will allow central and local government to work together to make our roads safer," he said.

“Labour’s transport policy will be evidence-based. We will make sure that investments from the National Land Transport Fund are mode-neutral, meaning that good projects that stack up will be funded, whether road, rail, or walk/cycle.”

Although Gisborne did not feature in the Government’s new $10.5 billion roads of national significance programme revealed on Saturday, Transport Minister Simon Bridges told The Gisborne Herald that improving Gisborne’s transport network continues to be a priority for the government.

“That’s why we’re investing $115 million through the National Land Transport Fund, $6.5 million for Motu Bridge and $1.5 million through the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.

“It’s important to work out what Gisborne’s transport requirements are before making any significant investment. That’s why, through the action plan, the NZ Transport Agency, in conjunction with the council, iwi and other stakeholders, are continuing work on the integrated transport priority plan in order to identify and analyse options across the transport network.

“It is scheduled to be completed by December, 2017.”

THE release of National and Labour transport policies this week has left Federated Farmers questioning where the benefits are for Gisborne in either plan.

“Both parties’ announcements contain nothing for this region,” Federated Farmers Gisborne-Wairoa president Charlie Reynolds said yesterday.

“Both are focused on the big urban vote. When you look at how much the agriculture, forestry and horticulture sectors pay in road user charges each year, we pay so much and receive very little.”

Speaking to TV One News on Tuesday, Mr Reynolds added that he had to battle broken roads near his farm every day.

“The easiest way to describe it would be the worst farm track you’ve ever been on. Gisborne doesn’t seem to be receiving a cent and we’re struggling,” he told One News.

“We need around $40 to $60 million just to bring the roads back up to standard, so $200 million. Well you know Gisborne can eat that in seconds.”

Labour’s Transport spokesman Michael Wood said on Tuesday that the party’s regional roads policy would double the funding range for these roads from $70m to $140m nationwide, to $140m to $280m a year.

“This will allow central and local government to work together to make our roads safer," he said.

“Labour’s transport policy will be evidence-based. We will make sure that investments from the National Land Transport Fund are mode-neutral, meaning that good projects that stack up will be funded, whether road, rail, or walk/cycle.”

Although Gisborne did not feature in the Government’s new $10.5 billion roads of national significance programme revealed on Saturday, Transport Minister Simon Bridges told The Gisborne Herald that improving Gisborne’s transport network continues to be a priority for the government.

“That’s why we’re investing $115 million through the National Land Transport Fund, $6.5 million for Motu Bridge and $1.5 million through the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.

“It’s important to work out what Gisborne’s transport requirements are before making any significant investment. That’s why, through the action plan, the NZ Transport Agency, in conjunction with the council, iwi and other stakeholders, are continuing work on the integrated transport priority plan in order to identify and analyse options across the transport network.

“It is scheduled to be completed by December, 2017.”

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