The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has confirmed it will be investing more money into Ruapehu roads.

The Ruapehu region's funding assistance rate (FAR), which sets the Government's level of investment in local road network maintenance and renewal, will increase from 67 per cent to 73 per cent from July 1.

The funding will allow Ruapehu District Council (RDC) to get on top of outstanding repair and maintenance issues as well as addressing ratepayer affordability concerns.

Ruapehu land transport manager Warren Furner said the increase was great news.


"Council is now able to increase investment in Ruapehu's road network without adding to rates," he said.

"We anticipate that a 72 per cent FAR will allow council to increase the total road budget by $2 million per annum and the bridge improvement and renewal budget to $9.8m over the next 10 years."

Land transport will be the RDC's largest expenditure in 2018/19 at a planned 42 per cent of total spending and is a key enabler in Ruapehu's economic and social development objectives.

The RDC expects rural communities to be happy about the announcement because many of them see land transport activity as critical in ensuring their viability and sustainability.

Furner said Ruapehu's FAR had been rising by 1 per cent a year and had been scheduled to reach the maximum FAR of 72 per cent in five more years (2023/24).

"Ruapehu has always argued that we need our FAR set at the highest possible level if we are to maximise our contribution to New Zealand's growth agenda," he said.

Last year an NZTA investment audit looked at the level of investment the RDC was making in its road network against what was needed to keep it in good condition and what ratepayers could afford.

In response the RDC requested that the transition to a 72 per cent FAR be brought forward to this year, 2018/19, rather than waiting until 2023/24.

If the FAR acceleration had not been approved, the RDC would have had to maintain its current budget levels and would have needed to be more reactive to work requirements.

Furner said the challenge now is to work with contractor partners and ensure they are adequately resourced to deliver in line with the increased investment in the network.

"The pressure on contractor resources for equipment and skilled people is a nationwide issue," he said.

"The increase in our FAR support should, however, assist our contractors to invest in new resources with more confidence and security supported by council contracts."