Rotorua's roading network will likely decline because there will be a $2.5 million funding shortfall in the next three years that the city's council says it can't cover.
The announcement was made by Rotorua District Council chief executive Peter Guerin during the council's draft Long Term Plan deliberations.
Mr Guerin said that after revealing its funding estimates, the New Zealand Transport Agency said the council could maintain its existing infrastructure with the money the agency would provide. But council engineers calculated they would be shy about $2.5 million.
The New Zealand Transport Agency provides 47 per cent of the cost of maintenance and renewals of the district's roads and the council applies for funding based on established levels of service required to maintain the network.
Mr Guerin said Rotorua's roading network would deteriorate in the next three years. "They say it's enough to cover our local roading network ... our engineers say it's not enough - we will find out who's right after three years."
Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters said the council had been given a "real reality check" during this year's Long Term Plan budget process. "Councillors and staff have been very mindful of the economic outlook and we have to make some big changes as a result. Some people may not like it, but it's the state of the nation."
Infrastructure services committee chairwoman Glenys Searancke said the cuts were a nationwide issue but Rotorua's roads would be affected.
"We will be cutting our re-sealing programme for the second year running, so I'm pretty disappointed it's happened in infrastructure rather than across the board in all departments.
"But, infrastructure is easy to see and easy to cut compared to something like economic development that if it fails the money just disappears.
"People may have to put up with a pot-hole or two," she said.
The Infrastructure Services group manager Nico Claassen said roading plans for the next three years would have to be reviewed.
"All programmes will be looked at including pavement maintenance, vegetation control, signage, street sweeping, road marking and street lighting.
"Renewals for pavement rehabilitation, resealing, drainage and kerb and channel may all need to be reduced to some extent."
Because funding was cut by $844,000 over the next three years the city would be forced to accept a lower standard of roading.
"This comes on top of a reduction of $750,000 less than requested over the previous three years."
He said some of the district's roads had already shown marginal declines as a result of under-funding but were within acceptable national limits.