New Zealand's government is investing record 24.3 billion New Zealand dollars (around 16.8 billion U.S. dollars) in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood said Tuesday.
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The 2021-24 National Land Transport Program (NLTP) was released on Tuesday which outlines the planned investments NZ Transport Agency will make over the next three years.
Wood said the NLTP will drive the economic recovery by supporting thousands of jobs around the country.
"With local government, we'll be investing a record 24.3 billion New Zealand dollars into transport services and infrastructure over the next three years - a 44-percent increase compared to the last three years and 75 percent more than the previous government.
"Our government has listened to the concerns of local government and communities and we have stepped in to provide 2 billon New Zealand dollars of financing to boost road maintenance and public transport. We couldn't accept our roads deteriorating," said the minister.
"To further reduce emissions and help freight move efficiently, the NLTP delivers 1.3 billion New Zealand dollars to implement the NZ Rail Plan and 30 million New Zealand dollars New Zealand dollars to support coastal shipping," he added.
The government will be investing 2.9 billion New Zealand dollars in road safety plan Road to Zero to help prevent tragedies. It will include making 17 high risk state highway corridors safer, with 51 intersection improvements, 25 new roundabouts, and 164 km of safety barriers.
"Almost 7 billion New Zealand dollars will be invested in local road and state highway maintenance, which will see around 7,000 lane kilometers of state highway and 18,000 lane kilometers of local roads renewed," said the minister.
"Our transport network is increasingly being impacted by severe weather events as a result of climate change, so on top of our road maintenance investments, a further 3.9 billion New Zealand dollars will be spent on road improvements that will help connect communities, ensure the reliable movement of freight and improve resilience across the country," Wood said. ■