Phil Twyford feature

Transport Minister "$90m for Q'town is a down payment."

Transport Minister Phil Twyford has told Crux this afternoon that the announcement of $90 million for Queenstown transport projects is a "downpayment for work that still needs to be done."

"It's not only about transport. The infrastructure needs of Queenstown are huge, as local residents know. Such a small group of ratepayers having to maintain and invest in infrastructure for a place that is the jewel in the crown of our visitor economy, with a huge numbers of visitors arriving each year, is not sustainable."

"There's not a doubt in my mind that Queenstown has really been up against it in the face of very high levels of growth. And we've got to change that, we've got to do things differently."

Asked by Crux if local criticism of NZTA's apparently slow response to increasingly serious traffic problems was fair, Minister Twyford said that the current budget allocation system is not working for Queenstown.

"Queenstown is so special for many New Zealanders and that's why we are working on the current spatial plan to join up water, housing, transport, health - all of these things need to be handled in a much more ambitious way so that we can cope with the kind of growth that Queenstown will experience in the decades to come."

Details of today's $90 million announcement can be read here.

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