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Tackling road and water infrastructure challenges in the Waikato district

Infrastructure forms the backbone of our communities. It’s what connects us, enables our economies to thrive, and ensures our quality of life remains high. Today, I want to talk to you about the state of our roads and water infrastructure, two vital components of our district's well-being.

Roads are more than just asphalt and concrete; they are lifelines connecting us to work, school, and markets for our rural produce. Yet, much of our road network is aging and in need of significant investment to ensure its longevity. A substantial portion of our budget, around 35%, is dedicated to maintaining and improving our roads. However, the current funding model, which relies heavily on ratepayer contributions, falls short of adequately addressing our needs.

We are in the process of seeking a better funding model—one that considers the rapid growth in our district and the unique challenges we face. Our population may be smaller compared to other areas, but our geographic expanse presents its own set of challenges. The roads we maintain not only serve as conduits for commuting but also facilitate the transportation of goods, particularly vital for our flourishing rural sector.

Bridges, some dating back to the early 20th century, also demand our attention. As they near the end of their lifespan, the prospect of replacing multiple bridges simultaneously presents a significant financial challenge. We must plan meticulously to ensure the smooth functioning of our road network for all users.

Water infrastructure, though largely unseen, is equally crucial. The costs associated with upgrading and maintaining our water systems continue to rise, driven in part by escalating compliance standards. While these regulations are essential for safeguarding public health and the environment, they also add to the financial burden we shoulder.

Despite these challenges, we remain committed to ensuring the continued prosperity of our district. Our new podcast series, “Let's talk about it,” will delve into these issues and more, providing a platform for understanding. In our first episode, we explore the state of our local roads, discussing funding, maintenance plans, and road safety initiatives.

Download the podcast now on Spotify, and listen to me along with our local experts as we discuss all things transportation in the Waikato.

Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient Waikato district for generations to come.


Ngaa mihi, 

Mayor Jacqui