The New Zealand National Party has unveiled plans to commit half a billion dollars in funding to fix the country’s pothole-ridden roads if it gets elected later this year.
According to the party’s Transport Spokesperson Simeon Brown, over 54,000 potholes required repairs last year, with a backlog of 1000km of road still needing to be fixed in Auckland alone. However, Auckland Transport says this will take more than 10 years to fix and National isn’t having a bar of it.
In response, the party unveiled its “pothole repair fund” which would see $500 million be committed to local authorities and Waka Kotahi over the next three years that will be used to repair our roads.
National says the additional funding will be raised by reprioritising spending within the National Land Transport Programme, which will see a reduction in expenditure from activities like “blanket” speed reductions and the “excessive” installation of speed bumps.
It also states that investment will be pulled from Waka Kotahi’s “failed” Road to Zero campaign.
“Potholes are a safety hazard and have been causing significant damage and disruption to freight and motorists all over the country,” Brown said in a statement.
“Rather than wasting money on slowing people down, giant red zeros, or expensive transport projects nobody wants, like the $30 billion Auckland light rail project, National will focus on fixing and enhancing our roading network to ensure people and freight can move around the country safely and efficiently.”
Alongside the extra funding, National will direct Waka Kotahi to double the current rate of roading renewals as well as reduce the standard response rate for pothole fixes from 48 to 24 hours.