The Ministry works to advance the government’s four long-term outcomes for the transport system. The long-term outcomes and the headline indicators that the Ministry has established for these outcomes are set out below.

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The headline indicator data is sourced from the Ministry’s Transport Monitoring Indicator Framework and Statistics New Zealand.

The Ministry is only one of many organisations whose work impacts on the headline indicators. The ‘reducing the number of deaths on roads per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled’ indicator is an example of this. The Ministry provides policy advice on legislative and regulatory change to improve the safety of our roads and reduce the road toll. The headline indicator is also influenced by the work of the NZTA and local authorities to improve the safety of roads, the effectiveness of police road safety enforcement, and road safety advertising, safety enhancements in new motor vehicles, and decisions taken by individual drivers.

Progress against most of the headline indicators needs to be considered over time. This allows for one-off impacts, recognises the long-term life of transport infrastructure and that policies to drive human behavioural changes can take many years to achieve the desired impact. Two further headline indicators will be developed for accessibility and social contribution.

Long-term outcome A — an efficient transport system that supports high levels of economic productivity, provides strong international connections for freight, business and tourism, and meets international obligations

A major priority is easing prominent traffic bottlenecks within and around New Zealand’s five largest metropolitan areas, and linking major sea and air ports more effectively into the State highway system.

Headline indicator 1: Increasing productivity in the transport and storage sectors, measured in labour, capital and multi-factor[1] terms.

Figure 1 shows that capital and labour productivity in the transport and storage industry follow very similar paths. Historically the industry has grown strongly. Road, rail, air and sea transport all experienced periods of regulatory reform in the mid 1980s to early 1990s. From 1978–2009 the industry had the fastest capital productivity growth compared to all other measured industries. Transport and storage is a labour intensive industry. Over 60 percent of total income from the industry was derived from labour in 2008 (Statistics New Zealand, Industry productivity statistics: 1978–2008). This indicates that people are an important part of transport and logistics.

Figure 1 - Storage and productivity indexes

Headline indicator 2: Decreasing network congestion in the five largest metropolitan areas.

Figure 2 shows the changes in network congestion in the five largest metropolitan areas for the morning (AM) peak period. Results vary across the metropolitan areas. There has been a noticeable improvement in Tauranga, while Auckland and Wellington have fluctuated over the period. The expectation is that the completion of key roading projects in Auckland over the next few years will have a noticeable impact on congestion levels.

Data for Hamilton is only available for 2 years and it is too early to be able to identify any trends. Congestion levels in 2008 are likely to have been influenced to some degree by the high price of fuel at that time.

 Figure 2 - AM peak congestion

Long-term outcome B — a sustainable funding basis for transport infrastructure investments and use

Efficient funding is vital to the effectiveness of New Zealand’s transport system, and needs to align with the realities of how people travel and how goods are transported.

Headline indicator 1: Growth in revenue (in real terms) remaining stable in relation to growth in traffic volume.

Figures 3 and 4 below show the revenue levels from fuel excise duty, light RUC and heavy RUC (charge rate adjusted), compared to vehicle kilometres travelled. The growth in the level of light-vehicle revenue was broadly in line with the growth in light-vehicle travel. In comparison, once the effect of increases in heavy-vehicle RUC rates are accounted for, the level of heavy-vehicle RUC revenue is declining, despite a fairly steady trend in heavy vehicle tonne-km.

Figure 3 - Growth in fuel excise duty and light RUC revenue relative to growth..

Figure 4 - Growth in heavy RUC revenue relative to growth in traffic volume

Long-term outcome C — a high-quality transport system for Auckland, the nation’s largest economic hub

Auckland is the ‘gateway’ to New Zealand for most visitors and for a significant proportion of international freight. It is vital for New Zealand’s economic growth potential that Auckland’s road congestion is managed effectively, and wise decisions are made about transport infrastructure and services.

Headline indicator 1: Stable or decreasing congestion in Auckland, measured by delay in minutes per kilometre travelled.

Congestion in Auckland has fluctuated over the last 7 years. The AM peak has generally increased as has the interpeak. It is expected that the completion of key roading projects over the next few years will have a noticeable impact on congestion.

Figure 5 - Auckland CongestionLong-term outcome D — an accessible and safe transport system that contributes positively to the nation’s economic, social and environmental welfare

Accessible and safe transport systems are fundamental to improving the quality of life for New Zealanders. People have greater mobility than in the past, are travelling further on New Zealand’s roads, using public transport in higher volumes (a 30 percent increase during the last decade), and travelling by air more.

Headline indicator 1: Reducing the number of deaths on roads per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled.

Figure 6 shows a reduction in road deaths over the last 10 years. None of the previous major drops in the road toll were sustained. The drop in the road toll over the first half of 2011 resulted in a record 12 month road toll to 30 June 2011 (315 deaths compared to 372 the previous year). It is likely that economic factors, fuel prices, legislation, safety improvements and road policing have all been influences on the toll. There have also been less 3-day holiday weekends this year, as Waitangi Day fell on a Sunday and Anzac Day fell on Easter Monday. Road safety has also had a high profile in recent times. Public debate around various road safety initiatives has resulted in heightened media interest, and the potential of increased public awareness of road safety.

Figure 6 - Deaths per 100 million kilometersHeadline indicator 2: Decreasing amounts of carbon dioxide emitted from domestic transport per kilometre travelled.

Figure 7 shows that the level of carbon dioxide emitted from domestic transport per kilometre travelled has increased slightly from 300 to 313 grams over the last 10 years.

Figure 7 - Grams of carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre of road travel
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[1] Multifactor productivity measures the productivity of a combination of labour and capital inputs used in the production process.