Mayor pleads for regional roads

WHERE’S THE MONEY? Ngakaroa Road slumping at the 4.5km mark, one of many roads in need of repair. Picture by Liam Clayton

MAYOR Meng Foon is pleading for all political parties to consider the region’s roading needs, along the same lines as Auckland’s housing crisis.

The region urgently needs $30 million to fix its roads, he says.

With more than 200,000 truck movements expected in and out of the region’s port over the coming year, the region can't wait until after an election for funding it needs now.

Mayor Foon said with the election just around the corner, residents had been asking him what he had been lobbying for.

“They say that much of the focus has gone to the major cities — ‘billions to Auckland’, ‘billions to Christchurch’, ‘billions to Wellington’ — but what about little us?

“I can say I have asked for roading funding. I have been asking the National government for about three years now, and they have supported the Tairawhiti Economic Action plan, with some funding for tourist rest places, East Cape Road tar-sealing, Motu Bridge and other roading improvements.”

An updated roading proposal had been sent to parties as part of the transport study, which came out of the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan, but Mr Foon said there was no need to wait.

“We don’t need a study, as we have a comprehensive study already done independently by Opus. With its updated figures, we need at least $30m to arrest the situation we are in now.”

Explosion in truck numbers

Mr Foon said Eastland Port had gone from receiving 17,000 loaded logging trucks in 2004 to 89,301 logging trucks a year, and estimates provided to the Mayor by the port suggested that would increase to 104,107 logging trucks a year over the 2017-18 financial year.

“This growth is more than the housing problems Auckland is having. I have been told that we need to fund this from our community. I have replied we can’t.

“However, it is not only the logging trucks using these roads but everyday contractors, workers, machinery movers, service vehicles like hydraulics, mechanic and fuel, metalling trucks, bee trucks, farm tractors, contractors, local buses, and families.

MAYOR Meng Foon is pleading for all political parties to consider the region’s roading needs, along the same lines as Auckland’s housing crisis.

The region urgently needs $30 million to fix its roads, he says.

With more than 200,000 truck movements expected in and out of the region’s port over the coming year, the region can't wait until after an election for funding it needs now.

Mayor Foon said with the election just around the corner, residents had been asking him what he had been lobbying for.

“They say that much of the focus has gone to the major cities — ‘billions to Auckland’, ‘billions to Christchurch’, ‘billions to Wellington’ — but what about little us?

“I can say I have asked for roading funding. I have been asking the National government for about three years now, and they have supported the Tairawhiti Economic Action plan, with some funding for tourist rest places, East Cape Road tar-sealing, Motu Bridge and other roading improvements.”

An updated roading proposal had been sent to parties as part of the transport study, which came out of the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan, but Mr Foon said there was no need to wait.

“We don’t need a study, as we have a comprehensive study already done independently by Opus. With its updated figures, we need at least $30m to arrest the situation we are in now.”

Explosion in truck numbers

Mr Foon said Eastland Port had gone from receiving 17,000 loaded logging trucks in 2004 to 89,301 logging trucks a year, and estimates provided to the Mayor by the port suggested that would increase to 104,107 logging trucks a year over the 2017-18 financial year.

“This growth is more than the housing problems Auckland is having. I have been told that we need to fund this from our community. I have replied we can’t.

“However, it is not only the logging trucks using these roads but everyday contractors, workers, machinery movers, service vehicles like hydraulics, mechanic and fuel, metalling trucks, bee trucks, farm tractors, contractors, local buses, and families.

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winston moreton - 2 months ago
Under a photo of the failed Ngakaroa Road (TGH front page headline Mahuru 14) our Mayor's lament makes sad reading. He tells us, as if it was news, that Eastland Port is up to 89,301 truck movements a year. And as if he were personally surprised. Well maybe he is; but as a permanent trustee of our Eastland Community Trust (ECT) he must have been asleep at all those meetings when all the trustees said "No Rail". The $70m spend trumpeted by our Port Company a few weeks ago is for log traffic. And yes, the port is owned by ECT. Perhaps this is what he means when he says, "I have been told that we need to fund (our road repairs) from our community". In other words, a generation's worth of power bill pain (ECT is probably worth $400m) will go out the window on neglected roading.
Earlier this year, off the Mayor's own bat, without specialist input, he presented a paper to the council which would have turned the rail line to Napier into a cycle-walking track and doomed any chance of its use for freight. It was so lightweight his own councillors did not support it. He was absent from the meeting so he should not have been too surprised.
In news elsewhere this same week, a KiwiRail spokesman says, "the two trains scheduled per night for the Kaikoura line were expected to take 2000 trucks a month off the alternative highway". A number, chuckle now, "questioned by some in the trucking industry". Well even if it is only 1000 trucks a month, imagine the benefit of rail to Gisborne.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/96808940/picton-to-christchurch-railway-line-reopens-for-freight

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