A combination of strong arguments and lobbying has allowed Wanganui retain its government roading subsidy at the current level for the next three years.

NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had earlier indicated the subsidy would drop from 62 per cent to 50 per cent but the agency has reversed that.

Retaining the subsidy at current levels means an extra $1million in funding for the district's roading network.

Wanganui is one of only four authorities to hang on to the highest level of government subsidy.


Councillor Allan Anderson, the Wanganui District Council's representative on the Horizons regional land transport committee, termed the retention of the subsidy as a coup for the district.

"We have to acknowledge the role our senior officers played in achieving this. It's been a very complex issue but the officers and their teams did a great job," Mr Anderson said.

"The message had been that the subsidy was going to drop from 62 per cent to 50 per cent and that would have had a significant impact on our roading programme."

He said while the subsidy would not mean every roading job would get done in the next three years "without it, some things would never have got done".

Wanganui Mayor Annette Main said NZTA's announcement was "positive news" because it meant the council could continue with its local roading programme at a 62 per cent subsidy rate.

The funding assistance rate (FAR) applies to maintenance, operation and renewal of local roads and follows a review of that rate for all local authorities as part of the 2012-15 National Land Transport Programme. As part of that three-yearly review, NZTA had reduced the subsidy to nearly 30 local authorities for 2012-15.

Ms Main said it was reassuring to know the council would be able to continue with its planned roading programmes at the existing subsidy level.

The level of funding is based on the the size of the local authority's approved roading maintenance and renewals programme as well as the net equalised land value for the authority, which indicates the finances available to the authority through its rates.