Funding from Transport Choices Programme

Published on 05 December 2022


Waitaki District Council is thrilled to receive an initial $5.2million of funding from the Transport Choices Programme subject to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency further scoping the proposed projects in Waitaki.

The funding is part of the Transport Choices package included within the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF). It’s an ambitious programme that the Waitaki District Council is proud to be a part of as we work toward a safer and healthier environment while also getting to our destinations safely.

In May 2022, the Government released Te hau mārohi ki anamata, its first Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) to 2035. Waka Kotahi committed to responding to Government’s climate change objectives by spearheading the Transport Choices Programme and working in partnership with local councils to achieve the targets for the ERP.

The ERP highlighted the significant role transport must play with a call for a 41% reduction in emissions from the transport sector by 2035. Waka Kotahi has committed to responding to Government’s climate change objectives by spearheading the Transport Choices Programme and working in partnership with local councils to achieve these targets.

Waitaki District Council Roading Manager Mike Harrison said, “The Let’s get Oamaruvian research paper on school accessibility identified that the safety and perceived safety of the highway was a key issue around parents choosing cars over anything else.”

The $5.2million is allocated toward State Highway 1 intersections and safe crossings upgrades across four sites in Ōamaru. This includes Junction intersection (Awamoa Road, Wansbeck Street, Severn Street and Towey Street), Arundel Street / Regina Lane, Frome Street / Caledonian Road and Redcastle Road.

Transport Choices funding is currently indicative until Waka Kotahi works with Councils to explore how projects can be progressed in line with Transport Choices timeframes. Funding allocations may be adjusted after this consultation.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Manager Urban Mobility, Kathryn King says she is pleased Waitaki District Council has received funding as part of the Transport Choices programme. “Funding criteria specified projects that would deliver strategic cycling/micro mobility networks; create walkable neighbourhoods; support healthy school travel; or make public transport easier to use.”

Walking and cycling on Thames Highway will be addressed with an upgraded shared walking/cycling path on the west side of SH1, from Orwell St to Redcastle Rd. The remaining $500,000 for the walking / cycle shared path of Ardgowan Road remains in discussion.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher, said, “These are areas where there have been long term issues around congestion and pedestrains safety, particularly at school times. If we do the solutions right, we can look to fix long term problems for the community and making our roads safer for all users and help protect our climate.”

Waka Kotahi will work alongside WDC to ensure the move to the next phase of the programme is smooth. This will include an onboarding webinar for all councils participating in the Transport Choices programme.

Councillor and Transport Portfolio Holder Jim Thompson said, “The thing that is pleasing for me is that it is a reward for the good work that Waitaki is doing in this space that the Government has recognised this through further funding.”

This is a 24-month project with the first 18 months around planning and scoping with the information plans circulated as we progress. The final 6 months will be delivery of the plans.

Mike Harrison continued, “This funding will help a lot of areas in our community - accessibility, pedestrian crossings, safety around schools and the difficulties around turning on and off the highway from our local roads.”