The government’s overall goal…

The government’s overall goal is to grow our country’s economy to deliver greater prosperity, security and opportunities for all New Zealanders. The government has identified six main policy drivers that will help achieve this goal:

  • A growth-enhancing tax system.
  • Better public services.
  • Support for science, innovation and trade.
  • Better regulation, including regulations around natural resources.
  • Investment in infrastructure.
  • Improved education and skills.

The government’s long-term transport outcomes…

To meet the government’s overall goal and to respond to the key challenges, the Minister of Transport has identified the following long-term transport outcomes:

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.

B: A sustainable funding basis for transport infrastructure investments and use.

C: A high-quality transport system for Auckland, the nation’s largest economic hub.

D: An accessible and safe transport system that contributes positively to the nation’s economic, social and environmental welfare.

The government’s immediate priorities for transport… 

Over the next two years the government has indicated the following immediate transport priorities.

Investment in infrastructure

Increased transport infrastructure funding will have a direct influence on growing New Zealand’s economy by increasing productivity, securing jobs and increasing employment. The government wants to continue momentum in this area; in particular, continuing to build the Roads of National Significance (RoNS). The government has identified seven of New Zealand’s most essential routes that require work to reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth.

The RoNS are:

  • Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1
  • Auckland Western Ring Route - SH20/16/18
  • Auckland Victoria Park bottleneck - SH1
  • Waikato Expressway - SH1
  • Tauranga Eastern Corridor - SH2
  • Wellington Northern Corridor (Levin to Wellington) - SH1
  • Christchurch motorway projects.

Beyond the RoNS, identifying new approaches to the planning, management and development of the network, such as a classification system of State highways, will help to ensure that infrastructure investment is made in a targeted and efficient way.

To be able to increase economic growth and productivity, land transport funding requires a sustainable revenue framework. Information on future developments in transport will be important in identifying potential opportunities to improve productivity, efficiency and performance.

Better regulation

Simplifying, modernising and streamlining transport’s legislative and regulatory framework in order to reduce compliance costs will remain a high priority. Such work will include reviewing the road user charges system, the Land Transport Management Act, the Public Transport Management Act, Civil Aviation and Maritime Transport Acts, and fees and activity classes in the National Land Transport Fund. Implementing measures, such as the amended Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Rule for heavy vehicles, will further contribute to the productivity of the transport sector and, as a result, to economic growth.

Better public services

Evolving KiwiRail into a commercial enterprise is a top priority to improve value for money in the transport portfolio. By establishing and maintaining appropriate governance as well as institutional, funding and legislative frameworks, KiwiRail will be able to contribute positively to the transport system in the future. To achieve this, wider support from all existing and potential stakeholders will be required. The government is committed to providing a rail freight infrastructure that meets the requirements of importers and exporters.

Public transport can play a role in reducing congestion and improving overall transport efficiency. Improved operating models for Auckland and Wellington metro rail, as well as for the bus and ferry sectors, will help improve the quality and value for money obtained from public transport services.

Efficient and cost-effective performance of transport Crown entities is also vital to reducing costs for transport users and helping make New Zealand more competitive.

Road safety

Road safety will also be a high priority for the government. Promoting a Safe System approach is acknowledged as integral to achieving safety gains. The approach recognises that all components must play their part in order for the system to operate safely. This is already central to marine and aviation operating practice, and is being incorporated into land transport policy using Safer Journeys, New Zealand’s road safety strategy 2010–2020, as the foundation.

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