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Hamilton gets $43 million transport climate funding

Praneeta Mahajan

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 5 December 2022

Hamilton prepares for emission free future (Photo supplied)

Hamilton will receive more than $43 Million of additional climate funding from the central government to spend on projects aimed at reducing the city’s transport emissions.

On Sunday 4 December, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency announced that Hamilton City Council will receive a one-off grant of $43.73 Million to fund the Transport Choices Programme to help the city reduce transport emissions through mode shift to active and public transport options.

The grant will fund a range of projects across strategic biking and micro-mobility, walkable neighbourhoods, public transport, and healthy school travel.

Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Infrastructure and Transport Committee Angela O’Leary is pleased to see government support for Hamilton City Council’s transport objectives.

Futuristic Objectives

She said, “Hamilton City Council’s transport strategy sets the vision for the future of transport in Hamilton and its guiding principles directly focusing on travel choices, emission reductions, reduced reliance on private vehicles, and inclusivity.”

“The projects being funded by the Transport Choices Package will help deliver those significant mode shifts in Hamilton, helping us reduce emissions and increase our city’s overall liveability and wellbeing. It is fantastic to see our transport strategy and our climate change strategy align with the overall direction in which New Zealand is heading, and we are very proud to be leaders in this space.”

Public Transport and Urban Mobility Manager for Hamilton Council, Martin Parkes was also pleased to see the funding approved.

He said that Hamilton City Council is committed to putting in place infrastructure and initiatives that provide our residents and visitors with transport choices.

“As a growing city, the environmental impacts of our transport system will become significantly worse in the not too distant future unless we ‘build for change’ now, and this funding will help us deliver for our ratepayers at a pace and scale beyond what we would normally be able to do,” he said.

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.

The Emissions Reductions Plan

The funding will help deliver on Council’s climate change strategy wherein Hamilton aims to reduce its overall emissions by at least 30% by 2030, which includes transport as well as other emissions sources such as industry and business, waste, homes, and agriculture.

In May 2022, the Government released its first Emissions Reduction Plan, which calls for a 41% reduction in transport emissions by 2035. Transport in Hamilton currently makes up about 64% of the city’s total emissions.

Alongside 46 other councils across New Zealand, the Hamilton City Council applied to the $350 million Waka Kotahi Transport Choices Package to fund over 40 projects, all focused on reducing emissions by moving people around our city in a more sustainable way.

A number of these projects are already supported by Waka Kotahi, as they have been allocated part-funding by both the Agency and Council.

The projects now covered under this funding will go through public consultation and preliminary design in early 2023, with construction starting in mid-2023 and finishing in mid-2024.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

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