Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced that the Government will work with local stakeholders to identify and prioritise transport initiatives to help boost economic growth in Gisborne.
The announcement was made at the release of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan in Gisborne today.
“The Integrated Transport Priority Plan will provide an opportunity for the region to help shape the transport network and find solutions to meet the needs of local customers, businesses, such as the forestry sector, and tourists,” says Mr Bridges.
“Roads are a lifeline for the region’s community and there is a strong focus on getting products to market, especially through Eastland Port. Primary industries in general, and the forestry sector in particular, are significant contributors to the local economy. The priority plan will centre on their needs,” says Mr Bridges.
Led by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), in conjunction with council, iwi and other stakeholders, the study will ensure that robust analysis of transport options results in a plan that can enable and support the region’s economic growth initiatives.
The Priority Plan will provide key stakeholders the opportunity to identify and analyse options across the transport network. It is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.
In the meantime, the Government will fund a $1.5 million package of tourism-related roading projects on the East Coast. These are projects that are able to get underway soon. These are:An upgrade of existing rest area facilities and the construction of up to five new facilities along the 320km State Highway 35, which stretches from Gisborne, around the East Coast and down to Opotiki. Funding to replace the Horoera Bridge leading to the historic East Cape Lighthouse. Funding for a 7km link between the State Highway 2 Rere Falls Heartland Ride and the Motu Great Ride.