No Minister

Roads and Bloggers

Having done some work this afternoon on an issue raised by Psycho Milt as a result of a horrific drive he had from Rotorua to Palmy – Great facepalm moments in NZ Journalism – I realised that I did not have to stick to the restrictions of our comments section, so…

First up is this nice little chart here from NZTA, Revenue & Investment flows 2015-2018 (click to enlarge), which they treat as a three-year period:

Obviously that’s largely from the previous government but RUC estimated total revenue was $4,292 million, which comes out as an annual average of $1,430 million.

Now the proportions of this that come from the trucking industry itself don’t seem to be broken down, but there was this government study from 2009, which had it at 76% (p. 26).

And of course that RUC calculation already includes the “fourth power” calculation.

So that gives us $1,087 million annual average revenue from the trucking industry: it’s likely to be a bit higher in 2018/19. And of course that’s not counting revenue from their new vehicle registrations and other road-related charges.

NZTA also has an interactive page on road maintenance spending.

It shows that in 2016/17 the nation spent $609 million on “Pavement and Sealing”, which would seem to cover the specific area of complaint about road damage.

That’s 37% of the $1.641 billion spent on “Road Maintenance”, which also covers things like (you can click through the above chart):

– $235 million, Corridors
– $309 million, Emergency Reinstatement
– $211 million, Environment & Drainage
– $192 million, Network & Property Management
– $ 84 million, Structures

So it looks to me as if the government revenue from the trucking industry alone more than covers all the spending on repairing road surfaces.

There you go! Courtesy of your local, friendly and unpaid blogger you get information the average “ONE News journalist” was either too clueless or too lazy to dig up.

Now if the road surfaces are still crappy then perhaps we should throw another few hundred million per year at them or even more to get them up to spec, and we can bump the trucking charges further if needed to pay for that. I’m a big believer in user-pays!

But before doing that I’d like to take a very close look at those other line items first to see if some of that should not be re-directed to “Pavement and Sealing”.

And that’s before looking at re-directing the spending on poor old hopeless KiwiRail – or cycleways.

Not that those railways should be sold off. As driverless trucks become more commonplace we’ll likely just rip up the rails and use the corridors for dedicated robotic truck convoys.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 24, 2019 at 3:36 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with , ,

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