Tauranga City Council has instructed its chief executive to cease awarding any new contracts for transportation upgrade and safety projects, unless there is confirmed partnership funding from the NZ Transport Agency at the expected funding assistance rate.
The decision follows a report to the Urban Form and Transport Development Committee yesterday, which outlined the fact that confirmation of the NZTA co-funding share for a number of transport projects programmed for the current financial year (2018/19) has not yet been received.
NZTA provides funding assistance for local transportation projects focussed on safety improvements, public transport, and walking and cycling.
Mayor Greg Brownless noted that Council understands this is a national issue and other local authorities are experiencing the same frustrations.
“We have been forced to stop awarding contracts, otherwise we would put the ratepayer at risk of incurring costs for projects that should rightfully be co-funded by the Government.”
“We recognise that this will result in much needed transportation projects being deferred and we are looking to NZTA to take urgent steps to address the situation”.
Greg says the community has paid fuel and other taxes that NZTA utilise to fund this expenditure, and believes it is not fair that the processes to access that funding are slow and cumbersome.
The projects in question are predominantly upgrades and safety improvements more than $1 million in value. Maintenance of the network in its current form will continue.
Chief Executive Marty Grenfell has been asked by Council to engage with the Transport Agency to look at the available options and next steps and to report back to Council within two weeks.
Committee report DC 55 – NZTA funding and the resolution are available at: https://www.tauranga.govt.nz/council/about-your-council/council-meetings/council-meeting-details/artmid/2340/articleid/4324