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Published: 2005-07-08 00:00:00

Waikato’s Regional Land Transport Committee is hoping for more money for Waikato transport projects when Transport Minister Pete Hodgson pays a special visit to the Region next week.

The Minister is visiting Environment Waikato to attend a meeting of the Regional Land Transport Committee on Wednesday, and Committee Chairman Angus Macdonald is hoping the visit signals the announcement of more funding for stalled Waikato roading projects.

The Waikato only won minor improvements to its roading priorities in the increased transport spending announced in Wellington last week. Just three projects had their construction dates brought forward – Avalon Drive, East Taupo deviation, and the Maramarua deviation – while other important projects, such as the Te Rapa Bypass, remained at the same priority.

Mr Macdonald said while he was pleased that some projects had been brought forward, the Region would still have to lobby the Minister on many other important projects which were just as urgent.

Staff will brief Mr Hodgson on implications on the Waikato Region of Transit’s 10 year plan and the Committee’s priorities, Regional projects and other strategic transport initiatives.
“We haven’t been told if the Minister intends to make any announcements, but we’re hopeful that there will be more money for other vital Waikato projects.”

The Government recently announced an additional $500 million for transport projects and the Committee is hoping that the Waikato will receive a large share of this new funding, he said.

The Committee also hoped the Minister would announce the establishment of a Joint Officials Group (JOG) to expedite special funding for major transport projects in the Region.