Far North gets road funding increase
Published on 25 September 2023
Work to repair and maintain Far North District’s damaged road network has received a funding boost from the government with Waka Kotahi increasing its Funding Assistance Rate (FAR) for the area to 71 per cent.
The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Board agreed in June that the share it pays towards road works in the Far North over the next three years (2024-27) will be boosted by 2 per cent, taking its co-funding share from 69 to 71 per cent.
In its Annual Plan for 2023-24, the council had budgeted a total of $33.56 million for roading and footpath capital works. Much of this work will be eligible for the additional 2 per cent FAR rate.
Waka Kotahi co-funds approved road works undertaken by all local authorities across New Zealand through its FAR. This covers a minimum of 53 per cent of a council’s total land transport and transport services budget but can be increased to as much 75 per cent. The one exception is Chatham Islands Council where the FAR is set at 88 per cent to reflect the higher costs of providing land transport to the island.
Waka Kotahi has confirmed that its decision to increase the FAR for Far North District Council reflected changes to the district’s roading network since the rate was last set in 2019. Criteria the board considered included an increase in total centre-line length of the district’s road network (2508km in 2019 to 2511km in 2022), the increased capital value of the road network ($19,446 million to $31,239 million), and an increase in the number of ratepayers in the three years to 2022 (36,929 to 37,901). In all, 24 councils had FAR rates increased by the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Board.
Waka Kotahi has also applied a special FAR of 100 per cent to work included in the initial response to Cyclone Hale and Gabrielle in 2022 and 2023. An 89 per cent FAR will apply to emergency road works in the 2023/24 financial year.
Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA), which delivers road services across Northland, has completed $20 million worth of emergency road repairs following Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent weather events.
It has identified more than 300 serious slips across the region’s roading network that will take two months or longer to repair. It has also identified 104 ‘complex’ road repairs in the Far North, 73 in Kaipara and 24 in Whangārei.
Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) is a collaboration between the Kaipara, Whangārei, and Far North district councils, Northland Regional Council and Waka Kotahi. The alliance combines staff, services and resources for roading and transportation across Northland to improve services for all the region’s road users.