The NZTA has just released to me a document they had initially withheld from an earlier OIA request, it shows what the agency consider to be the high and medium impacts for each region around the country. What I found interesting looking at it was not only how intertwined that the many of the issues are but how the current spending and priorities are so far removed from the issues. Take Wellington for example, there is only one issue that has been identified as having a high impact, PT, yet the only major project that the NZTA are working on in the region is to build Transmission Gully – a project with a projected benefit cost ratio of well less than 1. Its a similar story in Christchurch where some of the high impact issues are residential growth, PT and congestion yet the focus is on building some motorways.
All up I get the feeling that the NZTA do actually understand what many of the problems are but that they are being hamstrung in actually resolving them due to the governments dogged determination to build the Roads of National Significance. I would love to see what things they would actually focus on if they weren’t dictated to by the government policy statement.