It’s time for Government to deliver on roading talk: Ross

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller (left) and Jami-Lee Ross, National's transport spokesman, beside State Highway 2 at Wairoa. Bay of Plenty Times Photograph by George Novak

National will keep the Government honest about their provincial road funding polices, says MP Jami-Lee Ross.

Mr Ross, the MP for Botany and National’s spokesman for transport and infrastructure, said the Government had ‘‘a lot to say about local roads’’.

The Government had made significant promises around funding local roading projects.

‘‘They need to deliver with the funding.

“Anne Tolley (National’s East Coast MP) and myself will keep the Government honest.

“I think Gisborne District Council should be on the Government’s back about that as well.’’

The challenge in Gisborne was in upgrading significant roads that served forestry and other industry.

Mr Ross said he was impressed by Tairawhiti Roads.

“I believe it’s working very well in terms of governance and operations.’’

There was a need for the Funding Assisted Rate (when local bodies qualify for funding from the National Land Transport Fund) to be “looked at’’.

Mr Ross criticised Government roading and rail spending policies in Wellington and particularly in Auckland.

There had been an effective $5 billion reduction in state highway spending as a result.

The Dominion Road to Auckland Airport and other light rail projects was effectively where the $5 billion was going.

At the same time, the Government wanted to introduce regional fuel taxes of about 25 cents or more a litre.

A fuel tax was not required, he said.

The previous National Government, in its 2017 Budget, devoted $32 billion over four years to roading and other infrastructure such as schools.

“The Government is taxing people more and they are pouring that into Auckland whether you agree with (National’s) Roads of National Significance or not.

“What is universally accepted is that people, such as those living in Gisborne, don’t want to be paying for roads in Auckland.

‘‘I can understand that frustration.”

National will keep the Government honest about their provincial road funding polices, says MP Jami-Lee Ross.

Mr Ross, the MP for Botany and National’s spokesman for transport and infrastructure, said the Government had ‘‘a lot to say about local roads’’.

The Government had made significant promises around funding local roading projects.

‘‘They need to deliver with the funding.

“Anne Tolley (National’s East Coast MP) and myself will keep the Government honest.

“I think Gisborne District Council should be on the Government’s back about that as well.’’

The challenge in Gisborne was in upgrading significant roads that served forestry and other industry.

Mr Ross said he was impressed by Tairawhiti Roads.

“I believe it’s working very well in terms of governance and operations.’’

There was a need for the Funding Assisted Rate (when local bodies qualify for funding from the National Land Transport Fund) to be “looked at’’.

Mr Ross criticised Government roading and rail spending policies in Wellington and particularly in Auckland.

There had been an effective $5 billion reduction in state highway spending as a result.

The Dominion Road to Auckland Airport and other light rail projects was effectively where the $5 billion was going.

At the same time, the Government wanted to introduce regional fuel taxes of about 25 cents or more a litre.

A fuel tax was not required, he said.

The previous National Government, in its 2017 Budget, devoted $32 billion over four years to roading and other infrastructure such as schools.

“The Government is taxing people more and they are pouring that into Auckland whether you agree with (National’s) Roads of National Significance or not.

“What is universally accepted is that people, such as those living in Gisborne, don’t want to be paying for roads in Auckland.

‘‘I can understand that frustration.”

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