New data obtained by the Herald shows it is going to take Auckland Transport up to a decade to clear the backlog of local road repairs, which currently sits at around 1000 kilometres.
The backlog is caused by funding issues, according to the Auckland Transport Alignment Project update. The report said it would take five to 10 years to clear the backlog.
National Party spokesperson for transport Simeon Brown said the statistics portrayed an “ugly picture of the state of the roads in the Auckland region”.
“While Labour has been fixated on trying to build a $30 billion light rail tram in Auckland, our roads are crumbling,” Brown said.
“The report should be a wake-up call to the Labour Government that trying to squeeze the National Land Transport Fund to pay for pet projects like a cycle bridge across the Auckland Harbour or light rail down Dominion Road is the wrong approach to transport planning.”
More than 211,000 potholes have been reported on New Zealand state highways over the past five years - with a quarter of them being in 2022.
A spokesperson from Acting Transport Minister Kieran McAnulty’s office said the Government was focused on developing and maintaining “a high-quality transport system”.
“That’s why in 2022, Waka Kotahi [New Zealand Transport Agency] repaired 54,196 potholes.
“The previous government froze road maintenance spending, which is why we’ve boosted it by nearly 50 per cent to help bring our roads back up to scratch.
“When we came into Government, Waka Kotahi advised that more investment in the maintenance of the state highway network was crucial as, despite an almost 10 per cent increase in the size of the network and a 12 per cent increase in costs, funding was flatlined from 2009 to 2017.”
In Auckland, 4637 potholes were recorded compared to more than 42,500 in the Waikato.
Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport and the Transport Minister have all been approached for comment.
Rachel Maher is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. She has worked for the Herald since 2022.