National’s road building policy

National has released their road building policy:

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance

“Our country is growing and we are committed to building world-class infrastructure to encourage that growth to continue,” Mr Bridges says.

“The original seven Roads of National Significance are now either complete or under construction, improving safety and travel times around the country and supporting New Zealand’s economic growth.

”The time has come for the next generation of nation-building projects so today we are announcing that 10 of the country’s most important routes will form the next generation of Roads of National Significance.”

They are:

  • Wellsford to Whangarei
  • East West Link in Auckland
  • Cambridge to Tirau
  • Piarere to the foot of the Kaimai Range
  • Tauranga to Katikati
  • Napier to Hastings
  • Manawatu Gorge
  • Levin to Sanson
  • Christchurch Northern Motorway
  • Christchurch to Ashburton

“The new roads are expected to cost around $10.5 billion, on top of the estimated $12 billion invested in the initial seven,” Mr Bridges says.

“Like the first tranche, they will be funded from the National Land Transport Fund and the use of Public-Private Partnerships.  The initial funding will come from our record infrastructure investment of $32.5 billion announced in Budget 2017.

“As we have previously said, once the original projects were completed new projects could come on and would be funded by existing revenue sources.

“Strong transport connections are critical for our growing regions and support New Zealand’s economic prosperity, and the Roads of National Significance are an important part of that. They are lead infrastructure projects meaning we are investing now to encourage future economic growth, rather than waiting until the strain on the network becomes a handbrake on progress,” Mr Bridges says.

“The chosen projects are our highest volume roads and they are a sensible and logical extension of the original seven projects. Together they will help provide a strong safe highway network that links our regions effectively with our major cities.

“The completed Roads of National Significance are also our safest, with no road fatalities to date.

“National is committed to building the infrastructure and transport system New Zealand needs to ensure our ongoing economic prosperity is secured,” Mr Bridges says.

–> Read the Roads of National Significance Fact Sheet
–> Read the Roads of National Significance Q&A
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28 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  August 21, 2017

    Jacinda inspires with a head-on challenge to climate change, and Bill says, “more roads”???
    Optics fail, Nats. Ethics too.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 21, 2017

      Tourism? Off to Thailand, Barcelona, heads banging on bus windows through the McKenzie? Rental cars? Low paid service jobs (our second biggest industry)? What do the Greens say about that Robert Guyton?

    • PDB

       /  August 21, 2017

      You’re right – we should throw more taxpayer money into the sky from people living in such places as Cambridge in the hope that will change the world’s climate rather than improve the efficiency of our archaic roading system thus increasing productivity and the economy whilst improving everybody’s lives in this country in the process.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 21, 2017

      When reality bites, jobs depend on fossil fuels (human activity). Justin Trudeau found that out and backed down on his plans to phase out tar sands.
      But then, I suppose much of Green policy these days is based on The Triumph of the City, and Creative Class type thinking even though it is Florida admits the Creative Class concept proved wrong.

    • NZ has a problem in that we don’t have the population to support wider rail network.

      Greens and Labour want the brakes on further growth. Who is going to ride their trains?

      More pie in the sky “vision”

      • Blazer

         /  August 21, 2017

        Freight goes on trains…but the trucking lobby don’t like that.Auckland certainly has the numbers for rail.Tourists don’t mind airport links either.Now you have some…idea.Btw Bridges buried a report showing rail was more cost effective and efficient than road ….politics…Natz style.

        • PDB

           /  August 21, 2017

          Freight that goes on trains…has to be unloaded onto trucks at the other end that then use roads in order to deliver those goods.

          I look forward to Labour’s next announcement, this time in communications;

          • Blazer

             /  August 21, 2017

            not necessarily….track to port loading hub,does not involve trucks.First with hand up and…wrong answer…again.

            • PDB

               /  August 21, 2017

              Not necessarily – but you are talking but a miniscule portion of goods. Labour’s so called ‘golden triangle’ of rail they just announced is a total dog that will lose money hand over fist just like Kiwirail which they paid way over the odds for.

          • duperez

             /  August 21, 2017

            So product in Northland is delivered by truck on the road to a railhead in Whangarei. It travels by train from there to Wellington and is picked up by truck which uses the road to deliver it somewhere. And that’s bad because the stuff has to be trucked and loaded and unloaded at each end and the road between Whangarei in Wellington isn’t used. Yeah, I get that.
            Great when I have shares in Mainfreight and Fulton Hogan and don’t have to travel down the main highway. Oh, that’s right, it’s going to be an even easier trip too because the roads are all going to be four laned, at virtually no cost, initial or in on-going maintenance. Hell, let’s get rid of every skerrick of rail!

        • chrism56

           /  August 21, 2017

          As seems to be regularly the case Blazer, your “facts” don’t seem to match reality
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/335979/simon-bridges-vindicated-over-oia-ruling

          • Blazer

             /  August 21, 2017

            do you even know what ‘vindication’ means….

            ‘The Ombudsman’s report does suggest that KiwiRail was right in the first place to decide to release the report, saying the minister’s concerns, while genuine, didn’t stack up.

            In particular, it dismissed claims the report should stay secret because it was a draft or could be misleading.

            Mr Bridges said he would have to consider the implications of Mr Boshier’s findings for future requests.

            “We obviously respect where he’s come to. We’ll just have to take our time to think all that through.”

            Mr Boshier was also critical of KiwiRail’s sudden change of heart, ultimately deciding to keep the report secret as Mr Bridges wanted.

            He said it was “not that surprising” that some people believed KiwiRail changed its mind because of ministerial interference.’

            • chrism56

               /  August 21, 2017

              Your words were “Bridges buried a report showing rail was more cost effective and efficient than road ”
              The Ombudsman said he didn’t
              And here is the report
              http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/uploads/Publications/ThirdMainBusinessCase.pdf Which I note has about the same benefit as was quoted for the East West link and is integrated with it.

            • Blazer

               /  August 21, 2017

              @chrism56….’ the minister’s concerns, while genuine, didn’t stack up.’

            • chrism56

               /  August 21, 2017

              You are manipulating words again rather than admit you are wrong. Buried does not mean “didn’t stack up”

            • chrism56

               /  August 21, 2017

              And you can’t even get your “evidence” correct – go back through the links and you will see “However Mr Boshier expressed concern KiwiRail appeared willing to change its mind without properly understanding the Minister’s concerns and whether they were valid.”
              It was the reporter that put the spin on it,

            • Blazer

               /  August 21, 2017

              @chrism…God loves..a trier…you missed this bit…’He said it was “not that surprising” that some people believed KiwiRail changed its mind because of ministerial interference.’…..Ngaro style=Natz style.

            • chrism56

               /  August 21, 2017

              As I expected, you try bullshit and bluster because you were wrong. Typical

  2. Blazer

     /  August 21, 2017

    Nationals new election tune)(pretty legal)

    • Mefrostate

       /  August 21, 2017

      Reminds me of Hitchiker’s Guide: “it’s a bypass.. you gotta build bypasses”

  3. duperez

     /  August 21, 2017

    Of course this is a repackaging of some previously announced plans with others added.

    Picking up on something I saw yesterday, you could say they’ve got to these roads now, in this grand manner, right up Panic Street.

  4. Mefrostate

     /  August 21, 2017

    Reposting my criticism of this policy from yesterday: https://yournz.org/2017/08/20/labour-launch-their-campaign/#comment-211603

    National are promising $10bn more on Roads of National Significance.

    That’s $2,000 of your money that could be spent elsewhere.

    There’s no analysis to show the benefits will exceed the costs.

    Five of the seven previous RONS created less value than they cost.

    For the East-West Link, NZT’s economic expert said: “I have not prepared a quantitative assessment of the economic costs of the Project. Neither have I quantified the benefits… I am confident that the economic benefits of the Project will outweigh the economic costs (especially if the construction costs are not included).”

    Simon Bridges then pressured KiwiRail to block an OIA request which showed that rail was a more cost-effective option.

    So why should voters trust that this “party of fiscal restraint” will spend their money on projects backed by evidence, rather than an ideological preference for roads?

  5. Gezza

     /  August 21, 2017

    Is it a given that Public Private Partnership roads always mean at least initial tolls? I’ve found what information I have googled up are somewhat muddy on this issue.

    • I can imagine they would always involve tolls. The whole idea is that the PRIVATE partner gets the rights to tolls for a certain tenure

      • Blazer

         /  August 21, 2017

        taxpayers funding ,another heads we win,tails you lose deal…no doubt.

  6. PDB

     /  August 21, 2017

    How much of a dog is the Labour rail plan, or the ‘golden triangle’? A classic example of Ardern making up policy with no means of actually delivering what she is promising.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95985999/labour-to-spend-20m-on-commuter-rail-between-auckland-hamilton-and-tauranga

    $20million will get you nothing especially when only half of that is in track changes. Bridges for a change knocks the nail on the head;

    “”The Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga rail line is our busiest freight route and simply doesn’t have the capacity to also be a commuter rail line,” he said.

    “The only way you could use it for both would be to double track large sections of the line, and Labour doesn’t have any plan to invest for that.”

    The train will be so slow no one will want to use it.

    Ardern: “She said if stage one of the rail plan was a success and demand justifies it, Labour would look to invest in stages two and three – delivering passenger and freight services travelling up to 160kmh throughout the regions, and south to Rotorua.”

    Google: How much does it cost to build a high speed rail?

    “In July 2014 The World Bank reported that the per kilometer cost of California’s high-speed rail system was $56 million, more than double the average cost of $17–21 million per km of high speed rail in China and more than the $25–39 million per km average for similar projects in Europe.”