The Northern Infrastructure Forum (NIF) welcomes the National Party’s transport plan, describing it as a programme that has the level of ambition the country needs to address its long-term transport infrastructure challenges.
The proposed programme includes new and big upgrades to regional highways and major urban roads, and NIF Chair Simon Bridges says it will deliver big improvements in connectivity within and between key urban centres.
“It’s highly ambitious, and that’s precisely what we need for a productive, resilient and safe transport system into the future,” says NIF Chair Simon Bridges. “We’ve got to start investing for the long term, and often that will require spending more to get more.”
Mr Bridges says the programme is particularly exciting for the Upper North Island, which is the NIF’s area of focus.
“Northland, Auckland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty collectively account for half of New Zealand’s economic output and population. They also contain our biggest export and import ports, our main international airport and much of our warehousing, logistics and distribution activity. New Zealand needs these regions humming, and that’s what a plan like this will enable.”
Before discussion moves to project details, says Mr Bridges, what’s needed is a robust strategy.
“What are the intended outcomes in terms of economic growth, resilience, vehicle emissions, and road safety? How will it be funded and implemented? And crucially, will it leave enough resources to bring the rest of the road network up to scratch?
“We also need clear plans to improve transport in major centres, starting with Auckland. The projects that have been signalled are a great start, but we’re going to need a lot more to ease congestion, enable housing development, and give people realistic travel alternatives.
“This has the makings of a transport plan that can guide decision-making for the long term, and secure buy-in from across the political spectrum,” says Mr Bridges.
About the NIF:
The NIF is a policy and advocacy organisation formed to help raise the standard of infrastructure planning and decision-making across the Upper North Island, and maximise the contribution that infrastructure can make to productivity and liveability. Its membership consists of:
- Auckland Business Chamber
- C & R Developments
- Civil Contractors New Zealand
- Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern)
- National Road Carriers Association
- The NZ Automobile Association (Auckland District Council)
- Ports of Auckland Ltd
For more information, contact:
Chair, Northern Infrastructure Forum
Coordinator, Northern Infrastructure Forum