Funding for 14 local roads

June 30th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

National announced at its conference, $212 million of funding for regional and local . This is additional funding on top of funding from petrol tax, and road user charges, and comes out of the partial sales of the SOEs. So it is swapping an investment in one type of asset (dams) for an investment in anothe rtype of asset – roading infrastructure.

The 14 roads are:

  1. Kawarau Falls Bridge, in Otago
  2. Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek realignment, in Canterbury
  3. Akerama Curves Realignment and Passing Lane, in Northland
  4. State Highway 35 Slow Vehicle Bays, in Gisborne
  5. Normanby Overbridge Realignment, in Taranaki.
  6. Whirokino Trestle Bridge replacement, in Manawatu/Wanganui
  7. Motu Bridge replacement, in Gisborne
  8. Opawa and Wairau Bridge replacements, in Marlborough
  9. Taramakau Road/Rail Bridge, on the West Coast
  10. Loop road north to Smeatons Hill safety improvements, in Northland
  11. Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor, in Taranaki.
  12. Port of Napier access package, in Hawke’s Bay
  13. Nelson Southern Link, in Nelson
  14. Rotorua Eastern Arterial, in Bay of Plenty.

The first five are to begin construction this year and finish in 2016/17.

The next six to begin construction within three years.

The last three are to complete the design phase.

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55 Responses to “Funding for 14 local roads”

  1. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    What the peasants have no bread? – let them drive on the new roads!

    Nope, it just doesn’t sound right!

    “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” ;-)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 28 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Roads are bad, people drive on them. Far better to build train tracks that people wont use.

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  3. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    any mention of a bit of a tickle up for Manchester st in earthquake torn Christchurch? Let’s try and get the working girls (and boys) back into a level of comfort more fitting of that worthy trade. – afterall, the economy needs all the help it can get and i’m sure one or two of the punters frequenting this den of inequality are heartily tired of hand relief behind the portaloo’s.

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  4. Neil (586 comments) says:

    I live 100km from No 1 the Kawerau Bridge. A one way historical bridge which has meant lengthy delays during holiday time. It’s the height of madness, a leading arterial road into one of NZ’s leading tourist resorts.
    It will add value to the Queenstown economy, as all of the tour buses to Milford Sound have to cross twice over that bridge.
    An election porky ? Perhaps but people in the south have waited long for this especially with much of the new roading money going into Roads of Significance.
    Perhaps Judith might like to wait at the bridge for 15 minutes during high summer. A pack of nonsense !!!!
    A great move by John Key’s government.

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  5. woodburner (30 comments) says:

    This is a good investment. That Motu bridge north of Gisborne is held together by good wishes and fairy-wings. It has been dodgy for well over 15 years, and if/when it closes, Gisborne is virtually inaccessible from the North. I wouldn’t call this pork-barrel, I would call it very necessary and about time.

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  6. flipper (4,060 comments) says:

    As I said on GD last night in relation to the email sent out by J Key yesterday, # 6 is delightfully, and correctly, non PC.
    Let’s have done with the “Whanganui:” BS.
    :-)

    En passant, if that bloody twit red melon, and his labour fellow travellers had not deprived the nation of many millions by his attempted sabotage of the asset sell-down, there would be more money to “buy bread”, so to speak.

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  7. doggone7 (801 comments) says:

    The couple in our area are not needed on such a list. They will not gain any extra votes, very safe National country. Between them they’ll will make 2-3kms easier to travel on. In themselves those patches aren’t inherently dangerous. Their presence is so the claim can be made that the magnificent announcement is nationwide. Their presence will give local supporters of National a warm feeling about how their government cares, is really looking after them and provides them with absolute proof of the level of the caring. One little lolly every three years! Whoop de do!

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  8. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘So it is swapping an investment in one type of asset (dams) for an investment in another type of asset – roading infrastructure.’
    Or from one type of asset (income generating) to another type (no income generated).

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  9. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    Which are those doggone7?

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  10. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    In Mike world roads are non-income earning assets. Economic illiteracy.

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  11. Redbaiter (8,823 comments) says:

    What kind of lunatic would claim that roads don’t generate income?

    I’ll tell you.

    A leftist lunatic.

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  12. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    How does the government earn income from roads then, KiwiGreg? I suppose you are going to claim that improving transport links leads to more (taxable) economic activity and therefore a small increase in government revenue. How does that compare to the dividend streams from the assets sold?

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  13. doggone7 (801 comments) says:

    James Stephenson

    The two Northland ones.

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  14. alwyn (424 comments) says:

    We had better hope that mikenmild doesn’t represent the views of Labour or the Green Taliban.
    If they thought like him we would have all the public hospitals closed and medical treatment would only be provided in user-pays facilities. After all, a public hospital that doesn’t charge the patient for its services isn’t going to generate any revenue and is obviously going to be scrapped.
    I wonder whether Annette King is going to tell us that this is in their plans if, God forbid, they ever get into the Ministerial limo’s?

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  15. Tarquin North (297 comments) says:

    Right on doggone7. Good to see a bit of money getting spent up here. Bring on the holiday highway! Northland needs it and deserves it. Imagine, an hours drive from Auckland to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country where you can buy an awesome house for under half a million! Who wouldn’t want that? That’s right I nearly forgot, the Greens hate the idea. Here in Northland we call that a bonus.

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  16. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    alwyn
    All I did was pointing out that DPF was conflating two very different types of assets – one that produces ongoing dividends and one that does not. I’m not saying that the government doesn’t need some types of assets, just that it’s foolish to pretend that this was some kind of neutral swap.

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  17. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Dearie me milkymildy, is that really the best youve got?

    Take a couple of views and see if you come up with the same answer.

    Remove ALL of our roads. All of them. What happens to the economy?

    Now, put back half of the roads we used to have, but make them gravel one lane. Economic impact?

    Now two lanes…

    Now, all the roads back, and tarseal…

    See if you can figure it out. Take your time now…

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  18. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Remove ALL of our roads. All of them. What happens to the economy

    Duh. That’s why we have TRAINS.

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  19. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    LMAO, thanks TDM, I needed that laugh :)

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  20. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    And these 14 projects all have good benefit/cost ratios, right?

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  21. tvb (4,421 comments) says:

    The communities involved will be pleased with all these projects. Is Labour and the Greens against them. I dare them.

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  22. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    I do love the irony as well:

    Labour: Here, have free student loans people. Election, what election (hides pork barrel behind shed)

    But when National announce roading projects, the screams of pork barrel politics from Labour.

    To quote my current favourite TV expression: Labour, off you fuck.

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  23. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    One purpose of these now highly publicised projects is to force Labour into a corner. The Green party will want to can many if not all these projects so Labour will need to indicate its position if faced with such a challenge during coalition talks.

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  24. lilman (959 comments) says:

    excellent use of my taxes,very happy with these upgrades.

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  25. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Tarquin North says:

    “Right on doggone7. Good to see a bit of money getting spent up here. Bring on the holiday highway!”

    Please, don’t call it the holiday highway.
    It isn’t.
    In the 20+ years I have driven this road almost daily it has become busier and busier, especially where it concerns freight.
    This road should have been build 20 years ago.
    When it is finally done the economy up North will take off especially the Whangarei – Marsden Point (harbor) area.
    It will also save (Dome valley!) several lives a year and this alone will make it worthwhile.

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  26. flipper (4,060 comments) says:

    One day Milkey…. you will realise that you are a poster-boy(?) example of why all bureaucrats should be seen, but not heard.

    Has anyone ever done a cost benny on you Milkey?

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  27. Tauhei Notts (1,712 comments) says:

    The Motu bridge in Gisborne.
    I thought the Motu River was more than 60 kilometres from Gisborne.

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  28. Tarquin North (297 comments) says:

    Thanks Andy, you should try being a sales rep up here! The panel beaters and tyre companies love me!

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  29. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    And these 14 projects all have good benefit/cost ratios, right?

    All positive milky, unlike the TRAINS.

    You write as if you perceive some higher roading priority? More, perhaps, than Gisborne being at risk of being isolated from the north or Queenstown access (you’ve heard of Queenstown haven’t you milky – its where the civil servants have their conferences). More than reducing freight costs by upgrading access to address load limitations – eg the Motu or access to Napier Port in Hawkes Bay?

    I realise that under the pinko roading paradigm, the only people who use roads are holiday-makers, but in the real world, tourists in buses, primary produce, logs and manufactured goods, all get carried by road and the more you put on a truck or the shorter the distance carried, the cheaper it is to transport them. That is why this government introduced the 50 tonne limit. Extraordinary I know, to adherents of another other pinko paradigm that states that cost inefficiencies that reduce economic activity or efficiency may simply be addressed by welfare payments.

    As committed as you are to serving the people of our small nation, including only blogging at tea time and in your lunch breaks, you probably don’t get an opportunity to get out on the roads and into the hinterland. If you did and you paused to reflect on the amount of goods carted on our roads, you might be able to glean the economic significance of decent road access.

    Even so, you could (in your lunch break) take advantage of your taxpayer funded internet access to google import and export volumes and freight cost statistics to get some idea of the freight costs we suffer in this curiously shaped country of ours. You might also like to reflect on the prospect that we are better off having tourists in shops or wherever spending money rather than stuck in a bus on a bridge.

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  30. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Thanks for confirming the positive BCRs, DVM. Got a source for that?

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  31. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    Glad and very surprised to hear about the bridge replacement at Gisbourne which I thought was a lost cause. Esp with Air New Zealand closing services to the region.

    Seeing is believing of course. Gisbourne may be well on the downturn before work begins and therefore the bridge work will not commence.

    Must say though, there is certainly a ton of employment on this list per se….hmmmmm

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  32. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    mikenwimp: You once again display the fiscal illiteracy of a public servant and a real deep left-wing loser. Your type of gallery playing is typical of PSA-indoctrinated clowns festooning the halls of bureaucracy.

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  33. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Someone really needs to teach the Nats how to do election bribes properly, Labour just have it all over them.

    Labour would be spending a few billion$ on their voter base and locking it in so it could never be removed. *

    Edit. * and fucking the country in the process.

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  34. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    “I thought the Motu River was more than 60 kilometres from Gisborne.”

    There you go…my suspicions confirmed in seconds!

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  35. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    Colville

    I don’t see the difference between either Nats or Labour in this tax and spend policy

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  36. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    Beside every one of these narrow roads and one-lane bridges there needs to be a large hoarding, reading “Labour/Green oppose improving this road.”

    Something for all drivers to ponder as they sit in their cars waiting for traffic to clear. A nice captive audience that would be receptive to the message.

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  37. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    Don’t have it and can’t be fucked actually milky. Your doing the sneering on this one so why don’t you support it with data demonstrating this is a fucked idea. I suspect though, that just the leverage that could be achieved in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne could pay for probably half of the $200m in economic terms. Those effects aren’t just slightly incremental; they are king hits at the margin. It is the difference between being able to do something and not being able to do something.

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  38. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    Was it Labour who opened up the Thames bridge and all that ghastly bottle neck endurance queueing that lasted for entire decades

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  39. woodburner (30 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts (1,575 comments) says:
    June 30th, 2014 at 11:08 am
    The Motu bridge in Gisborne.
    I thought the Motu River was more than 60 kilometres from Gisborne.

    Yup, and the Bridge in question is about 80k’s north of Gisborne. The bridge in question is a single lane wooden creation that is on a curve, off-camber and bumpy. It is at the bottom of a rather large, windy hill, and hitting it at anything over 40k is likely to give you a lesson in low-level flying.

    These might look like “regional bribes” to some, but speaking as someone who has grown up having to negotiate some pretty tough provicial highways, I think this is a very good investment.

    A few years back the Waioeka gorge (just north of the Motu Bridge on SH2) slipped quite badly. That mean that any traffic in or out of gisborne had two options – via naiper, or via the East cape. So, going to tauranga is usually a 3-4 hour trip. With the slip it turned the trip into either 6-7 via the east cape (of nasty, hard driving), or 7-8 via Napier/Taupo. You do the math in terms of the economics of that – I know it nearly crippled my Dad’s business due to transport costs.

    Provincial NZ is held together by a collection of dodgy bridges well past their useby, and rough roads that cost far too many lives. Any investment in these is more than welcome – otherwise how do we get all the milk, meat, produce and logs to a port! And don’t give me Rail, unless you magically find a way to get trains to tackle the NZ hinterland, or can negate my double-handling costs.

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  40. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So your response would be “I have no idea whether these projects represent a sensible use of taxpayers’ funds, but I’m all for them”?

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  41. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business says:

    “Was it Labour who opened up the Thames bridge and all that ghastly bottle neck endurance queueing that lasted for entire decades”

    The decision to replace the bridge was made in 2006 (Labour government) but the build was accelerated by 2 years (Originally set to start in 2011) by the National government.

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  42. Richard Hurst (857 comments) says:

    Pork.

    Meanwhile the rural roads in Southland used by milk tankers 24/7 bringing milk to be turned into exports earning the country billions are being left to decay away.

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  43. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    No milky. It is that I think this sounds like a good idea because I understand some of the underlying drivers on some of this stuff from first hand experience and from what I have read, as well as having travelled on a number of these roads and seen the problems.

    You are casting the negative inference, so if you want to be taken seriously on this one rather than just play, you support your perspective.

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  44. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @woodburner
    “That Motu bridge north of Gisborne is held together by good wishes and fairy-wings”

    I bet there are few of those around the place. Here in Auckland the bridge just up from us, the Sturges Rd railway over-bridge was well overdue for replacement, year after year of prevaricating and delay until finally the railway upgrade meant it had to be done.
    This very busy bridge was found to have NO vertical supports in place, completely crumbled, but was only stopped from collapsing by the lateral ties.
    One near disaster averted, how many more lurking?

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  45. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘The Government has almost finished a $100,000 project to strengthen a bridge it will now tear down and replace as part of its new roading package.’
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10215096/Govt-fixes-bridge-then-replaces-it
    One for the Taxpayers Union.

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  46. OneTrack (3,093 comments) says:

    Mike – i thought you said there was no need for the Taxpayers Union since governments never wasted taxpayers money.

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  47. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I didn’t say that. I just think they’re an odd bunch.

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  48. doggone7 (801 comments) says:

    wood burner: “That Motu bridge north of Gisborne is held together by good wishes and fairy-wings. It has been dodgy for well over 15 years, and if/when it closes, Gisborne is virtually inaccessible from the North. I wouldn’t call this pork-barrel, I would call it very necessary and about time.” Is this the one?

    Govt fixes bridge, then replaces it

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10215096/Govt-fixes-bridge-then-replaces-it

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  49. doggone7 (801 comments) says:

    Other_Andy:
    “When it is finally done the economy up North will take off especially the Whangarei – Marsden Point (harbor) area.
    It will also save (Dome valley!) several lives a year and this alone will make it worthwhile.”

    If achieving those things were as simple as improving the road to the North why have the legions of Northland MPs not put forward the indisputable case and been listened to over the more than 50 years some others of us have been using the road? Or are you suggesting that there now suddenly is an enlightened administration which gets it?

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  50. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    And so the pre-election lolly scramble begins. I dont think National needs to indulge in election bribery as the Labour/Greens/Mana/ coalition is managing to self destruct without any outside help. However its a nice gesture to the National Parties rural constituency given the huge investment that has been made in Auckland and the post earthquake Christchurch over the past five years.

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  51. woodburner (30 comments) says:

    Re: the 100k being spent on the motu bridge. Yup probably not a great look and some officials probably need to talk to each other.

    But the 100k being talked about here is a bit like telling the mechanic to “patch ‘er up” to get a marginal car through the next warrant, rather than stumping up for a new car.

    That is why it is called an investment.

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  52. campit (467 comments) says:

    Good to see a bit of money getting spent up here. Bring on the holiday highway! Northland needs it and deserves it. Imagine, an hours drive from Auckland to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country where you can buy an awesome house for under half a million!

    I assume this is satirical. The Puhoi to Warkworth toll road will be just 700m shorter than the existing free route. The travel time saving will be three minutes for trips to and from the north, compared to today’s typical travel time of 13 minutes. There will be no travel time saving for trips to / from Matakana and the eastern beaches, as the northern junction is 2km to the north of the turnoff at Warkworth.

    When it is finally done the economy up North will take off especially the Whangarei – Marsden Point (harbor) area. It will also save (Dome valley!) several lives a year and this alone will make it worthwhile.

    The toll road is only proposed to go as far as a point 2km to the north of Warkworth. The Dome valley will remain as it is.

    On the topic of this post, Transportblog has done their usual excellent analysis:

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/06/30/government-announce-regional-road-spend-up/

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  53. doggone7 (801 comments) says:

    And of course the “local and regional’ roads on the list in Northland are actually State Highway 1.

    I’ll still light the candles on our little altar and bow, genuflect, grovel and pray to the photos of John Key and Steven Joyce and thank them for their magnanimity. And give thanks that my IQ of 6 means I won’t consider that this whole thing in Northland terms is political bullshit.

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  54. Than (473 comments) says:

    So your response would be “I have no idea whether these projects represent a sensible use of taxpayers’ funds, but I’m all for them”?

    mikenmild, you have moved the goalposts at least once during this discussion. You started out at “these aren’t assets, they don’t provide a dividend”. Then when it was explained that roads do have a benefit (even if it isn’t a simple cash dividend) you shifted to demanding a cost/benefit ratio.

    I have no idea what the cost/benefit ratio for these roads is. But then I don’t know what the cost/benefit ratio for power companies is either. By even asking for one you are implicitly admitting DPF’s point – roads are assets. They may be good assets or bad assets, but they are assets.

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  55. jonar (19 comments) says:

    Hi David, where’s the update on this story given the latest information?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11302678

    “The National Government’s $212 million plan to fast-track regional road projects using asset sales cash is not backed by a strong economic case, documents released under the Official Information Act show.”

    “Documents released to Labour strategist and blogger Rob Salmond by Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee’s office show most of the 14 projects have a benefit to cost ratio of less than four with five in the range of 0 to 2.”

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