“Restoring speed limits is good, but it’s only part of what’s needed to get Kiwis moving,” says ACT Transport Spokesperson Simon Court. “ACT will ensure it’s safe to raise speed limits by making sure all the money raised from excise tax and road user charges actually goes into roads.”
“ACT will also supercharge road development and maintenance by changing the way infrastructure is planned and funded in New Zealand, by inviting private partners from New Zealand and around the world to build infrastructure beyond what the Government can afford.
“Labour took the lazy route by lowering speed limits instead of upgrading roads to modern standards, New Zealanders have suffered as a result.
“Anyone who has experienced the state of New Zealand’s roads recently knows that the current system of relying on the Government to build and maintain them with your taxes isn’t working.
“ACT would use public-private partnerships and toll roads to bring accountability and revenue to a 30-year plan, supercharging development and maintenance.
“New Zealand’s road network is straining under the weight of population growth. Congestion costs us billions of dollars each year and the number of potholes is growing quicker than they can be repaired. But the cost of delivering new roads and maintaining existing roads is high.
“ACT is proposing to introduce a world-class toll roading system. It will use private sector financing and expertise to get new roads built faster and to maintain existing roads quicker and more effectively. Overseas, countries like Ireland have successfully made extensive use of tolling.
“Under a world-class toll roading system, New Zealanders will have a choice: make use of new toll roads much sooner or wait for tax-funded roads to be delivered later or never.
“ACT’s approach would bring us up to speed with other parts of the world. Sydney has been able to fund the completion of the 110km Sydney Orbital motorway network in twenty years through making use of public-private partnerships and the collection of toll revenue. In Ireland, 35 percent of the motorway network is now operated by public-private partnerships.
“Increasing the level of private sector funding will inject much-needed discipline into decision-making while allowing the Government to maintain prudent levels of public debt. Between 2007 and 2017, more than NZ$300 billion was raised by funds globally to invest in infrastructure. Most of that capital was raised from insurance companies, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds (including our own New Zealand Super Fund) looking for long-term investments with reasonable returns.
“ACT would also ensure the next Government scraps the advice that is encouraging councils to lower speed limits, and instead tell councils to focus on what is right for communities - safe and efficient roads, not slowing people down and making society less productive.
“Slowing people down and making society less productive is not the answer for safer roads. Investing in modern infrastructure and improving the roads that Kiwis drive on is.
“ACT will keep standing up for Kiwis who have places to be and stuff to do. We need the country to grow, not go slow.
"ACT is ambitious for New Zealand, we aspire towards a modern, thriving economy with world class infrastructure. With private sector financing and expertise to bring projects forward, we can achieve that."