Friday, April 12, 2024

Highway repairs get $567m boost 

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Greater resilience in face of climate change is the goal.
Grant Robertson says there is a need ensure transport infrastructure is rebuilt quickly after weather events.
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A further $567 million is to be poured into repairs to state highways in Tairāwhiti, Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel and Northland.

The government announced the funding – part of the $6 billion National Resilience Plan unveiled in May’s Budget – this week.

“At Budget 2023 we established the National Resilience Plan to support building infrastructure that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” Minister for Cyclone Recovery Grant Robertson said.

“At the time, we indicated that immediate focus would be on building back better from the North Island weather events earlier in the year. 

“Over time, the plan will also address the severe infrastructure deficits that have held New Zealand back.”

Robertson said there is a need ensure transport infrastructure is rebuilt quickly after weather events, “but also that they are built in a resilient way as increasingly severe weather events will continue to hit New Zealand”.

The latest announcement is on top of the $525m already provided to Waka Kotahi in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone. 

Minister of Transport David Parker said now that almost all links have been restored in cyclone- and flood-affected areas, many of those roads need to be made safer and more resilient.

“We need permanent solutions in places where Bailey bridges were put in to reopen river crossings. This extra funding will replace or strengthen and rebuild damaged bridges.

“It will also improve the road surface on major stretches of road where potholes and cracks left after the weather events have made travel slow and frustrating for locals.”

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