The New Zealand transport system plays a pivotal role in providing more liveable cities and thriving regions. It underpins how New Zealanders get to their places of work and study, how they access leisure activities and how businesses move their goods and services. 

I am committed to delivering a transport system that works for all New Zealanders, a system that links us together and recognises the pivotal role transport has in the quality of our lives.

Particular areas of focus

I have two guiding principles for the transport sector. Firstly, transport planning and investing should be mode neutral. Secondly, our urban transport systems should be modern and efficient. These guiding principles underpin each of my seven priorities for the transport sector over the next three years. These are:

Delivering a mode neutral transport system to provide a more sustainable New Zealand
This means considering all transport modes when planning and investing, and basing our decisions on the merits of each mode to deliver positive and sustainable outcomes. The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) will be a key lever to set the frame for investment and funding decisions that are mode neutral.

Delivering liveable cities
Liveable cities are connected cities. The transport sector will work with urban centres to ensure transport enables good urban design and allows for integrated and connected transport choices. This includes rapid public transit, walking and cycling.

Ensuring that transport supports regional development outcomes 
Transport enables real economic opportunities for regions, as long as there is appropriate investment and planning to make this happen. All regions must be able to take advantage of their unique strengths. I am looking to invest in beneficial, cost-efficient and sustainable outcomes, including making investments in regional rail and roads, progressing inter-regional passenger rail, and investing in initiatives that support the growth of industry in the regions. 

Transport plays a key role in transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon future
It is vital to reduce carbon and harmful pollutant emissions from transport and improve public health outcomes by substantially increasing the use of lower emission modes. These include walking and cycling, electric vehicles and e-bikes, providing frequent and affordable public transport, promoting integrated land use and transport planning, and supporting rail and sea freight. The transport sector is working with international organisations to reduce the impact of international air and maritime emissions.

Enabling affordable and easy access to allow all New Zealanders to make the
most of opportunities

Transport must be affordable for all users. I am prioritising work that ensures New Zealanders have affordable and easy access to economic and social opportunities. This includes work on improving the safety of public transport, walking and cycling, to make these activities more accessible.

Delivering a transport system which is resilient, safe to use, and manages and promotes health and other social benefits
I am committed to putting safety at the heart of all decision making in transport so that our city streets, rural roads and State highways are more forgiving. As part of the development of a new road safety strategy I have tasked the sector to investigate adopting Vision Zero, and the ambitious long-term target of zero deaths on our roads. 

In the meantime, I am committed to taking immediate actions to improve our road safety. These include improving the safety of our vehicle fleet, tackling unsafe speeds, and implementing mandatory alcohol interlock device systems for repeat and highly impaired first-time drink drivers.

I am also focused on delivering a transport system that is designed to manage the risks of natural and human-made disruptive events, can cope with shocks and stresses,
and can swiftly recover from disruption.

Ensuring investment and regulatory settings further government priorities
I have tasked the Ministry of Transport to ensure that investment, regulatory and international settings further the Government’s transport and wider priorities. The regulatory environment will be sufficiently flexible to quickly respond to emerging business models. This includes delivering a transport regulatory strategy and rules programme which promotes safety, resilience, environmental and economic outcomes, and supports the uptake of technology that delivers transport outcomes.

We have a big task ahead of us

There is much work underway towards the system-wide changes necessary to achieve our priorities. This Statement of Intent sets out high-level intentions for the transport sector, with work remaining to develop these intentions into a comprehensive, system-wide plan. I look forward to the more detailed framing of the Ministry’s strategy and performance in the next Statement of Intent in 2019.

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 Phil Twyford
Minister of Transport

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