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Road Network

Our District's road network

Ashburton District Council operates and maintains the fourth longest local authority roading network in New Zealand. As the pathway for transporting the district's produce to local and international markets, our road network plays an essential part in supporting our economy.

The effects of changing land use has resulted in significant increases in heavy traffic use on our roads and council's aim is to ensure that our roads continue to provide adequate service to all road users in the district.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) maintains the 116km of State Highway 1 and State Highway 77 (Methven highway) which run through the district. Council continues to work with NZTA to ensure the continuity of service between the local and national road networks.

Quick facts

Here are some interesting facts about the roads in our district:

​Total length of roads​2,623km
​Sealed roads​1,507km
​Unsealed roads​1,116km 
​Bridges  ​141
​Traffic & street signs​8,581
​Street lights   ​2551
Culverts  ​3,136

Funding our roads

The funding to meet the cost of operating, maintaining and improving the district roads comes from three main sources:

  • District rates
  • Central government's Land Transport Fund administered by the NZTA
  • Petrol tax and others

The level of government assistance provided to Council is controlled by the Financial Assistance Rate (FAR).  Each year, the NZTA and Road Controlling Authorities agree on a local Land Transport Programme that provides for the maintenance, renewal and replacement of existing assets and the provision of new assets to nationally set guidelines.

Specified criteria must be met to gain the financial assistance offered by NZTA.   The NZTA has undertaken a review of the total FAR system to ensure that it is an equitable method of returning road related taxes back to Road Controlling Authorities.

From July 2018, NZTA will subsidise 51% of funds for roads and footpaths, and 85% for LED streetlights.

Maintenance activities

Council's roading department are responsible for looking after:

​Intersection design & improvement​Traffic management
​Heavy vehicle permits​​Street lighting
Road safetyUnsealed road grading and metalling
Road markingsSignage
Road resealingFootpaths
Kerb and channelRoadside drainage
Sealed road maintenance 

Activity management plan

Activity Management Plans (AMPs) outline how Council manages Roads and Footpaths.