Rural Fury


Anger is growing in rural areas discovering they’re suddenly having their expected roading budget cut because the government is shifting more money from rural roads to urban motorway projects.

Kaipara’s mayor, Neil Tiller, says in his area he could be millions short of what was promised - which in his area is a very big deal.

His district council planned to spend $22.91m on its roads in 2010/11. He says that NZTA approved $17.34m. Furthermore, there is another $1.4m in doubt due to further Government cutbacks.

Kaipara Mayor  complains: “ We could be $6.9m short. This is a large lump to cut out of a $22.9m budget.”

He said his complaint wasn’t with NZTA as it carries out government policy - but with the Government which decided to change roading funding shifting the focus and money from rural roading networks onto urban roads.

“We will be taking this matter up with the Government, including the Minister of Transport, to ensure it knows the impact it is having on rural roads.

“We will also be asking Local Government New Zealand to support us on this issue.”

Money is shifting from maintaining rural roads to building big motorways

To add insult to injury, the council says it’s now found out that $1.4m allocated for RDF Forestry funding is now in doubt.

This will mean an under-spend on the Districts roads of $6.9m on what was planned when the Council set its programme for roading in the Council’s Long Term Council Community Plan after talking to the community in 2009.

The council says the result of this finance cut is that there will be:

  • No improvements to the roading network
  • No preventative maintenance
  • A deteriorating roading network
  • Increased costs to ratepayers
  • Increased costs to road users through greater wear and tear on vehicles.

The mayor says Kaipara is a district heavily reliant on the farming sector for its wealth. The farming sector needs good transport networks to get product to market and to bring farming imports to their farms.

“This is in addition to the need for rural people to be able to interact in their communities, something for which roads are essential.”




  1. ingolfson says:

    Well, National got a lot of votes rurally, didn’t they?

  2. rtc says:

    Hah funny ingolson I was just about to post that these people voted National so they better lie in the bed they made. You can’t vote for tax cuts and expect expenditure to grow.

  3. Anthony says:

    Well actually, so what.

    Perhaps if we did not have the new heavier trucks on the roads it would not be such an issue.
    The council should just work smarter to get the same roads repaired for less.

  4. ingolfson says:

    “The council should just work smarter to get the same roads repaired for less.”

    Sounds like what a CEO would say - who will always find cost-cutting options somewhere (starting with worker’s benefits and quality control).

    So how do you suppose Councils should “work smarter”? Tossing empty phrases like that into the air isn’t going to repair a slip or fix a pothole.

    Maybe you think Councils should pay the contractors less - those guys who are already fighting for their survival during the recession?

  5. Anthony says:

    a ceo, a thanks.

  6. Jeremy Harris says:

    Darren Hughes has been asking Steven Joyce about this in the house for about a year now, he keeps on saying he increased funding…

    As a north shore politician said, “this is what third world countries do, neglect existing roads to build shiny new ones”…

  7. rtc says:

    It’s also what the US does.

    Why bother asking Joyce anything - he’ll always deny anything and claim everything supports what he says (despite everything saying the opposite).

  8. cam says:

    Rural Fury?? Try saying that five times really fast.

  9. ingolfson says:

    So no ideas about what “working smarter” means, Anthony?

    If the “CEO” reference is actuallly a praise for you, all the more reason to give us some idea - otherwise the comment remains rather empty.

    At the end of the day, money talks: Councils get money from ratepayers and taxpayers, and if the taxpayer share is reduced because government feels local Councils should get less, they have less to do their work with, causing roads to degrade. QED.