Easing congestion

Millions will be investment into Auckland Transport projects under the national budget

The New Zealand Government has provided millions of dollars’ worth of funding for transport in the Budget 2014 released this week.

The budget provides $375 million of new capital funding for the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to accelerate $815 million worth of Auckland transport projects.

KiwiRail will also get investment funds as part of its 10-year Turnaround Plan to make its freight business commercially viable continues, with $198 million being invested from the Future Investment Fund.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Auckland projects will address congestion, capitalise on the benefits of major roading projects already under way, and improve access to Auckland International Airport.

"No Government has invested so heavily in transport infrastructure across all transport modes," he says.

"But with freight demand forecast to grow by around 50 per cent across the country in the next 30 years, and by almost 80 per cent in Auckland, and with a growing population, we’ve decided to bring a number of important projects forward."

Brownlee says some of these projects were up to a decade from starting, but we’ve decided they simply must begin sooner to give Auckland the best opportunity of moving people and goods around the region.

Under the budget, KiwiRail will use the new money to invest primarily in infrastructure renewals and upgrades, new wagons and refurbishment of existing wagons and locomotives and IT systems.

 "KiwiRail has had a challenging few months, but looking more broadly at the rollout of its Turnaround Plan we can see fundamental improvements in the company’s operations," says Brownlee.

Since the company was bought by the previous government in 2008, Government investment in KiwiRail now totals $2.4 billion – excluding investment in metropolitan rail projects. 

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