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During a full council meeting yesterday, chief executive Steve Ruru called for councillors to consider whether road building and maintenance was an asset to the community when discussing the monthly report.
"We have$1.5billion of public assets, now the vast majority of that is in roads, and ... we have not been maintaining our roads."
The council needed to consider how much emphasis was going to be placed on road spending in the long-term plan.
"Are they still an asset that has a long-term future that is needed by our community or has the need changed and we should be producing a different type of asset?"
Mr Ruru said the South Roads reserve was a long-term investment he encouraged council to "look after generationally".
Cr Don Byars questioned if roads were an asset or a liability.
Cr Ebel Kremer said the council could not "lose sight" of the fact Southland had a large rural community which relied on the roads.
"For their services, for their business but also for their personal lives as well, for emergency services ... for all those aspects, the roads are not a liability, they’re actually an essential requirement."
The council’s investment in roading would be reviewed in the next few months, before being put out for public consultation.