Foreword: Minister of Transport

Minister of Transport Steven Joyce
Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport

The government’s top priority for transport is to maximise the sector’s contribution to economic growth and productivity.

The government views the roading network as the core of our transport system. This is because 84 percent of journeys to work in urban areas are by car, truck or motorbike, and 70 percent of freight tonne-kilometres are carried by road. 

For this reason the government has increased funding for State highways by more than $1 billion over the three years from 2009 to 2012, and investment in State highways has been lifted to 35 percent of the total National Land Transport Fund. This will see almost $11 billion invested over the next 10 years.

Last year I announced seven of our most essential routes that require work to reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth. Substantial progress has been made on these Roads of National Significance (RoNS); in particular, the Christchurch Southern Motorway, Auckland Western Ring Route, Auckland Victoria Park, Transmission Gully (part of the Wellington upgrade) and the Puhoi to Wellsford route. It is my intention to have all RoNS projects completed, or well underway, within 10 years.

Another key priority for the government is road safety. Much progress has been made in road safety over the past year. We have introduced legislation to combat drugged driving, to ban the use of hand-held mobile phones, and to tackle illegal street racing and the anti-social use of vehicles.

The recently released Safer Journeys strategy will guide our approach to road safety over the next 10 years. It takes a ‘Safe System’ approach which looks at all elements of the road system (vehicles, roads, speeds and road users) and recognises that everybody has a responsibility for road safety. The strategy lists some of the actions we will work towards to improve road safety over the next decade. The first action plan from the strategy is currently being developed for release later this year. Initial actions will focus on young drivers and alcohol.

The roading network will remain at the heart of our transport system, but other modes will also have an important role to play in offering an efficient supply chain and modal choice for passenger transport, particularly in urban areas. Rail will be a key part of this. As its owner, the government wants KiwiRail to operate as a successful commercial business unit. Some investment is going to be necessary in turning this business around. In Auckland and Wellington, metro rail helps to reduce congestion and increase modal choice. Investment in both road and rail in Auckland will cater for increasing demand and deliver a modern, safe, reliable public transport system that people expect in a major city.

Reducing compliance cost and simplifying the legislative and regulatory framework will be a key priority for the transport portfolio. These, together with improved performance of transport Crown entities, will improve value for money and contribute to the productivity of the sector.

Considerable progress has been made in the government’s priority areas for transport. The Ministry of Transport, as my principal adviser on transport matters, plays a critical role in helping the government create and implement transport policy and facilitate effective governance, performance and capability of transport Crown entities. We will continue working towards the government’s overall goal of growing the New Zealand economy so that we can all enjoy greater prosperity, security and opportunity.

This Statement of Intent sets out what the Ministry will be doing to support the government and how it plans to go about it. I am satisfied the Statement of Intent reflects my expectations of the Ministry.

Ministerial statement of responsibility

I am satisfied that the information on future operating intentions provided by my department in this Statement of Intent and the Information Supporting the Estimates is in accordance with sections 38, 40 and 41 of the Public Finance Act 1989 and is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the government.

Hon Steven Joyce
Responsible Minister for Ministry of Transport

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