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Source: EMA
National’s transport policy would go a long way to unlocking potential economic growth in Northland while also enhancing freight movement between our three major North Island ports, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).
“Much of today’s announcement reflects the EMA’s own advocacy positions on much needed infrastructure to support economic growth, freight and people movement across the Upper North Island,” says EMA Head of Advocacy, Strategy and Finance Alan McDonald.
“The four-laning coming south from Whangarei to Marsden Point supports plans to expand capacity at Northport and take pressure off Auckland port while also opening up access for distribution hubs away from the port itself.
“Freight operators and private motorists can only scratch their heads and wonder why not continue when they come to the end of the new Puhoi to Warkworth four-lane highway to find themselves on the dangerous goat-track that is the Dome Valley section of our major state highway link north.”
Mr. McDonald said new links south of Cambridge to Piarere and east of Tauranga over the hills to Hamilton would also significantly ease freight movement and enhance productivity.
“The proposed road east from Tauranga also opens up access to large-scale development at Tauriko for a new industrial/business hub and up to 40,000 homes for Tauranga.”
“It’s also good to see the commitment to expanding Auckland’s public transport network particularly in the eastern suburbs and the corridor north and west to Kumeu where we have seen rapid residential expansion without supporting public transport or roading networks.
“Similarly going back to the original four lanes for Mill Rd enhances access to the planned and rapid growth areas of Papakura and Drury – growth that is also supported by new rail stations and the improved capacity the CRL will bring to Auckland’s commuter rail network.”
Mr. McDonald said there were still some gaps in the policy that the EMA would have liked to have seen addressed earlier such as a fourth main rail line for Auckland – “which should be being built now to support freight and public transport,” – and the stretch of state highway from Wellsford over the Brynderwyn Hills and on to Marsden Point.
“The commitment to using tolls, congestion charging and other funding and financing tools to get this programme underway more quickly and continue to fund new infrastructure is also welcome.
“Weather events earlier in the year have shown us just how vulnerable our critical links are across the country and we need to build more resilience more quickly into our transport systems.”
About the EMA:
The EMA is New Zealand’s largest business service organisation dedicated to helping people and businesses grow. It offers advice, learning, advocacy and support for more than 7,600 businesses as members of the EMA, ExportNZ and The EMA’s Manufacturers Network. The EMA is part of the BusinessNZ network and its territory spans the upper North Island. The EMA also offers many of its services nationally to member businesses, and through its partners.