June 23 2005
Additional $500 million good news for road users
The Government is to be congratulated for its decision to invest a windfall tax gain of $500 million in transport
infrastructure, the AA said today.
“This use of additional and unexpected revenue in transport infrastructure is extremely wise. Analysis by Allen
Consulting and Infometrics released last year by the AA, demonstrated that transport infrastructure provides an economic
return on capital that would generate more revenue for the Government in the long run,” said George Fairbairn, AA Public
Mr Fairbairn said the additional funding on top of the $300 million over three years already announced would almost
certainly speed up much needed roading projects –especially in Auckland.
“This is a large sum of money, no matter how one looks at it, and it will make a significant difference,” he said.
Mr Fairbairn said the highest priority for spending would have to be on speeding up the completion of the State Highway
20 and State Highway 18 ring route around Auckland, closely followed by the major safety projects such as four-laning of
the Waikato Expressway and State Highway 2 to Maramarua. While this fresh injection of capital will not fund all of
these projects it could significantly advance their construction.
“The AA has been concerned for some time that many of the most important transport projects in the country have been
left outside the ten-year planning window of the National Land Transport Programme. This has hidden the size of the
roading infrastructure deficit facing the country over the next twenty to thirty years.“ he said.
Infrastructure construction is not something that can be turned on and off at a whim. In order to spend this additional
revenue well it will be essential to accelerate the current slow processes to get projects completed.