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Getting roads right for everyone

28 Sep 2017

Getting roads right for everyone

Getting the roading right for the district is a partnership between Council, the community and local industries, to make sure the needs of everyone are met.

Good roading infrastructure and transport activity is a key enabler of economic growth and community connections for the wider region.

Council is looking to be more efficient about how it delivers roading. It won’t happen overnight, but it is a key focus going forwards – together.

Director of community lifelines, David Wilson says success will be driven through partnerships.

“We want to partner with our local industries to make sure the roads are working for them,” he says. “We are looking to increase our levels of service and do things better going forwards . . . which we will achieve through that partnering with industry.”

We have a joint roading partnership with New Zealand Transport Agency, Tairawhiti Roads. Mr Wilson says the goal is to deliver roads at a level that meets the demand.

The NZ Transport Agency provides 100% funding towards the district’s state highways and subisdise partial costs of local roads.

“Forestry is one industry we do want to work closer with. We know they get criticised, but forestry is key to our region. We want to partner with them to share the cost and possibly to deliver some of the upgrade work.”

The Gisborne economy has had modest economic growth of approximately 2.5% a year, and forestry has contributed to that, along with horticulture, tourism and professional services. Along with increased employment, that means growing traffic movements.

There has been a dramatic growth in export log volume through the Port, and the 2.5 million tonnes (2016) looks set to grow to 4-5 million tonnes a year by 2020.

“This growth is placing significant pressure on the network,” says Mr Wilson. “Managing that will have a substantial impact on the overall needs of the roading network.”

Moving forwards, he wants things done better for a growing community to ensure the regional economy continues to prosper and the roads are safe for all users.

Read more about Tairawhiti Roads