The likely impact of budget cuts to road maintenance in Hastings will be spelt out to the New Zealand Transport Agency when it meets council leaders next month.
Letters obtained under the Official Information Act showed the agency and the Hastings District Council at odds with the method used to distribute road funding for the 2012-2015 period.
The council was to receive $19 million for maintenance and operations of roads and $26 million for road renewal work over the current financial year.
It was also told "cost escalation" was not considered a factor when setting the budget and councils around the country would have to find ways to better manage their roads and services to save money.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule wrote to the agency in July asking for a meeting to discuss the cuts.
NZTA regional central director Jenny Chetwynd responded in August and said the new round of funding was to be allocated "where it is most needed" on networks performing below the national average and the Hastings network was "well above the New Zealand average". She said the council asked for an increase of more than 21 per cent on the 2009/12 funding level but NZTA "made it clear" the request "could not be met".
"On evidence that Hastings District Council provided, funding was increased by 3 per cent."
Council chief executive Ross Mcleod's letter in September told Ms Chetwynd she had not answered "our frustration" with the way the agency managed and allocated funds to the council.
He said the method NZTA used had not taken into account the long-term needs of Hastings' road network.
"We believe our efficiency should be recognised rather than penalised.
"We are not seeking to gold plate our network but are simply wanting NZTA to come to an understanding of how we've done it, why we do it and provide reasonable support to ensure we can continue to deliver to our ratepayers what they deserve for the investment they have made."
Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers said next month's meeting would be a chance for the council to show NZTA what would happen to the road network if the funds continued to be reduced.
"It will also be a chance for them to say where they think savings could be made without compromising the ratepayers' asset."
Ms Bowers said she didn't agree the council had over rated for roading projects now that it was clear the expected NZTA funding would be reduced.
"Council has made it clear it will not be doing any work that is not subsidised (by (NZTA)."