INDEPENDENT NEWS

Transformation for Tairāwhiti roads

Published: Fri 7 Sep 2018 02:26 PM
07/09/2018
Tairāwhiti’s roading network will undergo a major transformation over the next three years, after the Government announced today investment of up to $137 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
Regional economic development Minister Shane Jones said the investment in road infrastructure aims to unlock Tairāwhiti’s economic potential through stronger, safer and more resilient transport connections.
The full package through the PGF and the National Land Transport Fund brings the total road investment in the region to $312 million over the next three years.
“The road network in Tairāwhiti has suffered from historical under-investment and recurring extreme weather events,” Shane Jones says.
“The locals have repeatedly told me than an efficient and reliable road network that better connects the community helps them get goods from farm gates and forests to the local and global market and it supports tourism.
“That’s why the Government is providing Tairāwhiti with a much-needed boost from the PGF to improve the safety and resilience of critical infrastructure and create sustainable economic growth in the region.”
Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says the funding will help boost economic growth by improving connections between Tairāwhiti and major transport hubs and markets.
“It also safeguards business and visitor access to our region. We depend on our state highways for the safe and efficient movement of the vast bulk of our horticultural and agricultural products to markets nationally and abroad – the economic importance of land transport cannot be overstated,” she says.
“With a stable pipeline of construction work over a sustained period, this will generate employment and skill development opportunities in our region.”
The purpose of the PGF is to accelerate regional development, productivity and employment and Shane Jones says he is confident today’s announcement will achieve all of those goals.
ENDS

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