|Thursday 26 March 1998|
Ownership Structure of New Zealand Roads
New Zealand has 91,864 km of public roads:
10,464 km owned by the Crown and managed by Transit NZ, consisting of State Highways and motorways.
These represent around 11 per cent of the total roading network by length and around 27 per cent in terms of replacement value.
81,400 km of local roads, owned by local communities and managed on their behalf by 74 territorial local authorities. These consist of:
around 15,300 km of urban roads, and
around 66,100 km of non-urban roads.
Local authority roads (urban and non-urban) represent around 89 per cent of the total network by length and around 73 per cent in terms of replacement value.
The depreciated replacement cost of the total road network is estimated at $23 billion, while an estimated $900 million is spent each year on road construction and maintenance of both State Highways and local roads.
Half of the funding of the total road network (around $450 million) comes from taxes, for example from petrol excise and road user charges for heavy transport vehicles. This funding is administered by Transfund for Transit NZ and for local authorities.
The balance of the funding for the total road network (also around $450 million) is derived by local authorities from rates.
Under the Roading Advisory Group proposals
Included in the RAG Reports recommendations are:
That a number of companies (probably between four and six, although the Minister of Transport has recently indicated that a single company may be more appropriate) be established, to be owned by central and/or local government, and that the ownership of all State Highways and local roads be transferred to these companies.
That as soon as possible every user should pay the actual costs of their use of the road system and that the roading companies should take over full responsibility for setting prices and direct charging for road use.
That the roading companies be required to make profits and pay tax.
That, to ensure fairness the rights of all road users should be defined in legislation; and to create conditions of commercial competiton the roading companies be required to consult with the public and local authorities on a number of issues including pricing, road corridor management and environmental management.
That the owners of the roading companies be allowed to trade shares in these companies between each other but that third parties be precluded from ownership.