Hawke's Bay Regional Transport Committee says it was told just a few weeks before completing a three-year transport study that the rules for using the document to apply for funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency had changed.
The committee's chairman Alan Dick was disappointed at the last minute policy change which meant the $500,000 Heretaunga Plains Urban Transport Study would need to be reformatted to fit new funding criteria.
The committee wanted to use the study to apply for the $24 million of regional road tax funding, held by NZTA, and earmarked for capital road projects which must be spent in Hawke's Bay.
Mr Dick said the policy change meant NZTA could now only "endorse strategies" but not studies.
He said however any strategy could not be created without a comprehensive study to back it up.
Comments by NZTA regional director Jenny Chetwynd, reported by Hawke's Bay Today at the latest committee meeting, that the information in the study was "in a bit of a jumble" were unfair Mr Dick said because much hard work had gone into ensuring the study was comprehensive and "fit-for-purpose".
"This is a study which NZTA helped fund, signed off the brief for and also helped draft.
"It is a comprehensive analysis of the transport needs on the Heretaunga Plains for the next 30 years and for NZTA to change the goalposts at the last minute is very frustrating," Mr Dick said.
Minor fine tuning was required to move the study into the revised form NZTA required.
Ms Chetwynd said the advice NZTA had consistently provided was it needed a strategy taken from the results of the study, which would be more "conducive to attracting funding for the projects" the study was advancing.
NZTA wanted to provide the correct advice to make sure Hawke's Bay "doesn't miss the boat in the upcoming funding round", she added.
"At the end of the day we all want the same thing, that is, to progress projects that will help Hawke's Bay's prosperity to grow," Ms Chetwynd said.