Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development
West Coast ports and roads will benefit from an investment of $18.6 million to improve safety and resilience and enable future economic growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.
The $12 billion NZ Upgrade Programme announced last month allocated $300 million for regional investment opportunities, to be administered by the Provincial Development Unit.
“The operation of the ports has been heavily impacted over recent years by declines in key sectors on the West Coast, including forestry and mining,” Shane Jones said.
“The West Coast owned and operated fishing fleet has a relatively small share of the local fishing market but there is potential to expand the region’s fishing sector through today’s investments and utilise the ports for other sectors.
“The ports are currently a financial burden for the respective owners and ratepayers and there is little ability to fund improvements from the small ratepayer base. This is a major barrier to getting the ports into a financially sustainable position and capable of contributing to economic growth opportunities.
West Coast ports will receive $8.5 million funding package to help secure the region’s fishing industry and restore the financial sustainability of its ports.
- $4 million to the Buller District Council to install floating pontoons at Westport
- $4 million to Grey District Council to install floating pontoons at Greymouth.
- $ 500,000 to Westland District to repair the wharves at Jacksons Bay, south of Haast.
West Coast state highways will receive $10.1 million to improve safety and resilience. The funding announced today will go to:
- $5 million for safety retrofit upgrades for up to six single lanes bridges on State Highway 73 and 6
- $3.6 million for State Highway 67 seawall protection at Granity
- $1.5 million for a cycle and walkway clip-on to the State Highway 6 Tatare Bridge at Franz Josef
“The Granity seawall project will provide protection against erosion to a section of SH 67 between Granity and Ngakawau with the construction of a 950 metre rock lined bank. This is an area that suffers from frequent coastal erosion and is an important link into the northern West Coast. The seawall will improve the highway’s resilience for the local community, and for freight supplies and rural services in the region,” Shane Jones said.
“The funding includes the installation or upgrade of guardrails on six single lane bridges on the West Coast state highway network. Tartare Bridge at Franz Josef will additionally have a clip on pedestrian and cycle walk way added.
“The West Coast has the largest number of single lane bridges in New Zealand on the state highway network, some of which timber rail, pipe rail, or concrete edge protection, often with no approach guardrail. This creates a safety crash risk.
“The work will indirectly contribute to regional economic development by improving the road user experience for locals and tourists by improved traffic flows and access and addressing safety risks,” Shane Jones said.
The bridges to be improved are:
- SH 73 Taipo River
- SH 6 Mikonui River
- SH 6 Wanganui River
- SH 6 Moeraki River
- SH 6 Gates of Haast
- SH 6 Tartare Bridge
The work will leverage design work already underway to improve road user and cyclist safety at high-risk single lane bridges on the West Coast also.
The work should be completed by late 2021.