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A National-led government would boost funding and rewrite planning laws so it could complete Auckland's main roading projects within eight years.

National leader Don Brash said today congestion in the Auckland region was worse than in Sydney or Melbourne and was costing the economy about $1 billion a year.

"National is not satisfied with the pace of progress at present. We have to get serious about Auckland roading."

However, he also acknowledged there were high roading priorities in other parts of the country.

These would not be disadvantaged by the party's spending plans for Auckland, he said.

Dr Brash said National had the political will to achieve its target -- evidenced by its promises to put all petrol excise tax into roading and to rewrite problematic laws in order to speed development.

Dr Brash said it was feasible to finish the work in eight years.

"We're convinced we can do that within an eight year period."

Dr Brash said petrol excise tax would be used to fund the project.

"One of the important things we are saying is that we want that for the long term, not just one term of Parliament but to progressively move that funding over."

Dr Brash said the tax would mean an additional $4.5 billion for transport funding over 10 years.

Dr Brash emphasised that the project would not impinge on plans for roads in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Wellington or other areas.

"This is not being done at the cost of roading projects in other parts of New Zealand."

Dr Brash said Labour understood Auckland roading was important, but if the party was returned to power the Green Party would insist money went into public transport instead.

"They don't like roads and they would do their best to slow down roads."

Dr Brash criticised Labour's promises in transport saying that in 2003, the party had promised $1.66 billion over 10 year period -- but nothing had happened in 18 months since the announcement.

"There's no doubt at all if we were faced with a Labour-Green coalition, Auckland roading would be an even bigger headache in 10 years time than it is now."

Dr Brash said major changes to the Resource Management Act and other legislation such as the Building Act were necessary for the project to proceed and National would do that.

Asked if roading was an appropriate use of money considering rising petrol prices, Dr Brash said the Auckland situation was desperate.

"Roading congestion in Auckland is costing this economy something like a billion dollars a year."

National's pledges:

* complete Auckland's Western Right Route -- linking Manukau City and the North Shore -- within eight years;

* complete the Harbour Bridge to City and Newmarket Viaduct projects within eight years;

* fund the $720 million shortfall between the current Transit NZ allocation and the required funds through petrol excise tax;

* introduce a Resource Management Act amendment bill -- aimed at streamlining and quickening the planning process -- within three months of entering government and passing it within nine months;

* simplify the Land Transport Management Act so it is not a major impediment to road construction;

* simplify the Building Act;

* streamline transport bureaucracy; and

* appoint a minister of infrastructure to oversee and "help push through" vital development.

- NZPA