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Government boosts funding to fix potholes

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Staff Reporter

06 June 2024, 10:01 PM

Government boosts funding to fix potholesRecord investment targets safer, smoother roads

The Coalition Government has announced a significant funding increase for pothole prevention, confirming a record allocation aimed at improving state highways and local roads.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown outlined the details of this initiative, which will see a substantial rise in funding over the next three years.

"NZTA has confirmed that over the next three years the agency will deliver a record $2.07 billion for State Highway Pothole Prevention and $1.9 billion for Local Road Pothole Prevention," Brown said.

"Compared to spend under the last government’s 2021-2024 NLTP, this represents a 91 percent increase in funding for State Highway Pothole Prevention and a 50 percent increase in the total funding for Local Road Pothole Prevention."

This unprecedented investment is intended to address the extensive backlog of road maintenance across New Zealand.

Last year, over 62,000 potholes required repair on state highways alone.

The new funding will be directed towards resealing, rehabilitation, and drainage maintenance works to ensure state highways and local roads meet safety and reliability standards.

"We have ringfenced this record investment in the Pothole Prevention Fund to resealing, rehabilitation, and drainage maintenance works to ensure that NZTA and councils get our state highways and local roads up to the safe and reliable standards that Kiwis expect," Brown explained.

"Our government has inherited a significant backlog of road maintenance across the network. We are now catching up on the maintenance deficit to ensure that Kiwis and freight can get to where they need to go, quickly and safely."

The confirmed funding levels under the new initiative provide councils with the certainty needed to finalise their long-term plans.

This will also allow roading contractors to plan and invest in the necessary resources, ensuring a clear pipeline of work for maintaining and improving the roading network.

"Indicative funding levels confirmed under our government provide councils with much-needed certainty as they finalise their Long-Term Plans. It will also enable roading contractors to have a clear pipeline of work in our roading network which will allow more investment in the people and equipment needed for its maintenance," Brown stated.

The increased investment aims to deliver tangible results across the country, addressing the urgent need for better-maintained roads.

By fixing potholes and ensuring proper road maintenance, the government seeks to enhance safety, increase productivity, and support economic growth.

"Kiwis want potholes fixed and our roads properly maintained, and this funding boost will deliver real results across the country," Brown emphasised.

"Boosting investment in pothole prevention will deliver a safe and efficient network for New Zealanders that increases productivity and supports economic growth."

This funding boost is a key part of the government's broader commitment to improving infrastructure and public services, reflecting a concerted effort to meet the needs and expectations of New Zealanders for better, safer roads.