1. Priority Delivering a mode neutral transport system to provide a more sustainable New Zealand
  2. Delivering liveable cities
  3. Ensuring that transport supports regional development outcomes
  4. Transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon future
  5. Enabling affordable and easy access to allow all New Zealanders to make the most
    of opportunities
  6. Delivering a transport system which is resilient, safe to use, and manages and
    promotes health and other social benefits
  7. Ensuring investment and regulatory settings further  government priorities


1.         Delivering a mode neutral transport system to provide a more sustainable New Zealand

We will work to ensure that decisions made for the transport system, particularly for freight, do not favour one mode over another. We will promote a sustainable transport system across all modes. The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) will be a key lever to set the frame for investment and funding decisions to be mode neutral.

Mode neutrality means considering all transport modes when planning and investing, and basing decisions on the merits of each mode to deliver positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes.


Government Policy
Statement on land transport


The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) sets out the Government’s priorities for expenditure from the National Land Transport Fund over the next 10 years. It sets out how funding is allocated between activities such as road safety policing, State highways, local roads and public transport.

A new GPS will take effect in July 2018. The Ministry will continue to develop the mode-neutral approach through the GPS, with the aim of publishing another GPS in 2019.

Coastal shipping


The Ministry of Transport is seeking to better understand the challenges, barriers and opportunities facing New Zealand’s coastal shipping sector. To ensure that we gather a wide range of perspectives and ideas we are engaging with a range of coastal shipping stakeholders including freight and logistics companies, coastal shipping operators, port operators and shipping agents. The engagement processes we have designed will help us identify what is working well in the sector, what barriers are hindering the further success of the sector and what opportunities are likely to present themselves in the future.

The information we gather through our stakeholder engagement will help inform the advice we develop for the Minister of Transport on how coastal shipping can contribute to the Government’s objectives for New Zealand’s transport system.



The Future of Rail Programme is being led by the Ministry of Transport with support from the Treasury, the NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail. A joint working group has been established to deliver advice to Ministers in August with a concluding report provided in December 2018.

The Programme involves a package of work to:

  • describe the purpose and value of rail within a multi-modal transport system
  • identify the structure and mix of rail assets that KiwiRail will need; and 
  • confirm what funding mechanisms are required in order to fulfil that purpose.

Public Transport
Operating Model

The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) is being implemented through a combination of operational and legislative changes. 

The Ministry will undertake research to look at the effects of PTOM on employment conditions as an input into a substantive evaluation of PTOM in 2019.


2.         Delivering liveable cities

We will work across government to ensure transport supports the broader housing and urban development agenda. This includes ensuring that revenue, planning and investment settings in transport are aligned with other agendas and contribute to broader Government priorities.

We will work with our urban centres to ensure transport is an enabler of good urban design and allows for greater, mode neutral, integrated and connected transport choices. We will support the movement of more people to public transport (including rail and rapid public transit), walking and cycling, and integration with urban planning to shape highly liveable cities.

Although the examples below relate mainly to Auckland, we are working to develop good policy across all of our major urban areas. 

Auckland Transport
Alignment Project

The Ministry co-chairs the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) along with Auckland Council, a collaborative process to agree strategic priorities for Auckland’s transport system.
We are currently updating the ATAP indicative package of investments to better reflect Government priorities, including accelerating delivery of Auckland’s rapid transit network; encouraging walking and cycling; and delivering improvements in health, safety and the environment. 

The focus has been on prioritising investment in capital projects over the next ten years.
Work on operational issues such as service levels and fares as well as supporting work on land-use planning, the continued work on congestion pricing and looking at the longer term will need to be progressed over the next year. In addition, funding issues will need to be progressed with Auckland Council, and the funding and financing work as part of the Urban Growth Agenda.   

Rapid Transit Network

Accelerating the development of Auckland’s rapid transport system is a priority for the Government. It is about unlocking housing and urban development opportunities as well as encouraging people to shift to public transport. Light rail proposals form part of Auckland’s strategic public transport network (bus, rail and light rail) agreed through ATAP.

The Ministry is working to provide advice around implementation considerations and funding. 

The Congestion
Question Project


The Ministry is leading a cross-agency project with Auckland Council to investigate whether to introduce congestion pricing in Auckland and, if so, what it should look like. As part of this, we will need to carefully consider the social and equity impacts of pricing and whether mitigations are needed to address these.

The Government has agreed to progress the work to the next phase, which involves developing and shortlisting pricing options. We are in the process of planning our public and stakeholder engagement during this phase. 

The key focus over the 2018/19 year is to develop and evaluate a range of options in order to provide recommendations to the Minister. Public engagement will be part of this work. 

fuel tax

A regional fuel tax is intended to provide a way for a regional council to raise funds for transport infrastructure that it otherwise would not be able to fund. Auckland is currently the focus. The revenue raised from a regional fuel tax will be used
to fund a programme of transport work in Auckland. 

The ATAP process will inform programmes that will be funded in this way. Legislation has been introduced to enable the regional fuel tax to commence, a process whereby a regional council must consult its community on the tax and projects to be funded, and then put a proposal to Ministers. 


3.         Ensuring that transport supports regional development outcomes

We will work to ensure that people living in the regions get access to real economic opportunities, enabled by appropriate investment in transport. Sometimes these investments may be to create the conditions for the private sector to justify their own investment in a region. The intention is to see beneficial, cost-efficient and sustainable investments to achieve our priority outcomes.

The transport system enables all regions to take advantage of their unique strengths, by connecting people and businesses with domestic and international markets.

Tuawhenua Provincial
Growth Fund

The Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) aims to lift productivity potential in the provinces.
Its priorities are to enhance economic development opportunities, create sustainable jobs, enable Māori to reach their full potential, boost social inclusion and participation, build resilient communities, and help meet New Zealand’s climate change targets.

The Ministry contributed to launching the fund in February 2018, with a set of projects. Key amongst these were two rail projects, including reopening the Napier-Wairoa line, and two road projects.

Over the next 12 months, the PGF will focus particularly on building a pipeline of projects led by regional shareholders, with significant investment decisions expected in 19/20 and 20/21.

Upper North Island Supply
Chain Study

An independent Working Group will be established, supported by the Ministry of Transport, to review New Zealand’s freight and logistics sector for the Upper North Island, including ports, and to develop an understanding of the Upper North Island supply chain. 

This will: guide the development and delivery of a freight and logistics (supply chain) strategy for the Upper North Island, including ports; advise on the priorities for investment in rail, roads and other supporting infrastructure; and advise on the feasibility of options for moving the location of the Ports of Auckland, including giving Northport serious consideration. 

The Working Group will deliver the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy by the end of December 2018.

International Engagement Strategy

The aviation and maritime sectors are heavily regulated by international bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization. It is important that the Ministry and transport agencies engage strategically with these organisations to advance New Zealand’s key interests and ensure that New Zealand is not disadvantaged by regulations agreed to by these organisations.

To address this, the Ministry is developing an International Engagement Strategy in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime New Zealand, and in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This Strategy will look at, among other things, where to engage, when to engage and how to engage.


4.         Transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon future

We will work to reduce carbon emissions from transport by substantially increasing the use of lower emission modes, such as walking and cycling, frequent and affordable public transport, rail and sea freight. We will also encourage uptake of low emissions options, like electric vehicles and bio-fuels, and participate in international negotiations to reduce the impact of international air and maritime emissions. The transport system is positioned to meet the target for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050, through ongoing reductions in greenhouse gases.

Moving to a low emissions
vehicle fleet

The Government has progressively introduced measures to reduce the health and environmental impacts of vehicle emissions in New Zealand. 

The Ministry is providing input into zero-carbon legislation that establishes an independent climate change commission.

It will lead the transition in transport by releasing a discussion document on a fuel efficiency standard and a feebates scheme. 


The Electric Vehicles Programme aims to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. The programme also aims to develop the electric vehicle market in New Zealand, and the supporting infrastructure for that market. High renewable energy levels mean that the emission reduction benefits of electric vehicles in New Zealand are greater than in most other countries, producing 80 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry is leading work on the enhancement of an Electric Vehicles programme, including e-bike initiatives.

Marine Pollution
Annex VI)

MARPOL Annex VI addresses two main issues with respect to shipping emissions:

  1. human health and local environments (including limits of sulphur oxide and nitrogen
    oxide emissions); and 
  2. greenhouse gas emissions (primarily carbon dioxide (CO2)).

Annex VI will serve as the platform for an IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) Strategy, which will frame international shipping’s climate change response for the foreseeable future.

The Ministry is publically consulting on possible accession to Annex VI in mid-2018. The outcomes of the consultation, will inform advice to Cabinet on possible accession. This will include a National Interest Analysis which would outline the costs and benefits of accession.

IMO Intersessional meeting on greenhouse gases and marine environment protection

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. 

The Ministry is responsible for coordinating New Zealand’s position on the IMO Emissions Strategy. 

In April 2018, the Marine Environment Protection Committee finalised a draft initial IMO GHG strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

Carbon Offsetting and
Reduction Scheme

Under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), aircraft operators will be required to purchase offsets, or “emission units”, for the growth in CO2 emissions covered by the scheme. CORSIA aims to address any annual increase in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation above 2020 levels. 

New Zealand agreed to participate in CORSIA from 2021.

In the next 12 months we will have established the legislative vehicle through a Cabinet decision and will have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with operators registered in New Zealand regarding data needs for CORSIA from 1 Jan 2019 – 31 December 2020.


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

We will work to ensure that our transport system provides all New Zealanders with affordable and easy access to economic and social opportunities, and integrate with other priorities including urban planning and cleaner modes of transport, to create healthier, safer and more equitable living choices.

Urban Growth Agenda
– transport infrastructure funding & financing


The purpose of the Urban Growth Agenda is to achieve competitive urban land markets, where supply meets demand and prices cover the cost of growth. 

The Ministry is providing advice on the Urban Growth Agenda, including transport and infrastructure funding and financing, as part of cross-agency work with the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

In the next 12 months the Ministry will also continue contributing to the Treasury’s work on options for new tools and methods of infrastructure funding and financing.

Enhancing transport


Accessibility to transport supports social cohesion, mobility and wellbeing. There is a broad programme of work to enhance accessibility, particularly for the transport disadvantaged. In 2018/19, the Ministry will:

  • investigate the development of a transport green card to support more affordable access to transport options
  • support the Government’s consideration of a new ‘smart’ SuperGold card, including reviewing the transport concessions and entitlements
  • contribute to the United Nation’s review of New Zealand’s implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • work with Disabled Persons Organisations, the NZ Transport Agency and regional councils to scope and commence a review of the total mobility scheme.


6.         Delivering a transport system which is resilient, safe to use, and manages and promotes health and other social benefits

We will focus on delivering a transport system that is resilient, secure, safe to use, and promotes health and other social benefits.  

The transport system must manage the risks of natural and human-made disruptive events,
cope with shocks and stresses, and swiftly recover from disruption.  

The increasing number of road deaths in New Zealand reinforces that we need to continue our focus on improving road safety. The Government wants to encourage physically active travel and protect people from transport-related injuries, harmful pollution and deaths.

Road Safety Strategy – medium-long term


The Ministry is working across the sector to lead the development of a new road safety strategy. This addresses a commitment 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. 

Developing a new strategy for road safety is a significant piece of work. We aim to produce a new strategy and action plan by September 2019. We will engage extensively with our road safety partners, local government and the New Zealand public.

Short-medium term actions


While we are developing a new medium-long term strategy and action plan for road safety, there are immediate actions we are taking to improve road safety outcomes in the short-medium term. These include:

Draft Government Policy Statement on land transport to have a stronger focus on safety for all road users
The new Government Policy Statement on land transport signals a step change in the Government’s expectations around investment in safety, in order to create a land transport system free of death and serious injury.

Implementing a mandatory alcohol interlock system from 1 July 2018
On 1 July 2018, legislation mandating alcohol interlocks for repeat and high-alcohol first-time offenders will come into force. This initiative will target the offenders that present the biggest danger to themselves and others on the roads.

NZ Road Safety Partnership
The NZ Police, NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry are collaborating to develop a Road Safety Partnership that will focus on ensuring we have the best model for delivering road policing to support road safety outcomes.

Enhancing the safety of vulnerable users and the accessibility of pathways
The Ministry is progressing work on a regulatory package to enhance the safety of vulnerable road users and improve the accessibility of pathways.

Considering options to improve vehicle safety standards
There is scope to improve the standard of vehicles entering our fleet and so improve safety outcomes for all road users. This could involve amending Land Transport Rules to mandate further minimum standards, including those that take advantage of new safety technologies. 

Undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the graduated driver licensing system
We are undertaking work with a number of agencies to evaluate the graduated driver licensing system. We are also looking at the expansion of access to driver testing and licensing in smaller towns, and investigating the introduction of rural driver training programmes.

Strategic resilience and security


The Ministry is working across the sector on a Strategic Resilience project, focused on the resilience of the New Zealand transport system. The project covers all transport modes, and is designed to provide a high level outcomes framework which sets out clear objectives, key focus areas and actions that the Ministry and transport agencies need to take. 

The framework itself is scheduled to be finalised by June 2018, with a more detailed work programme to commence from July 2018. This will include details of how the work will be evaluated and measured, and when this will be available. 


7.         Ensuring investment and regulatory settings further
government priorities

The Ministry will 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.

of transport entities


The Ministry seeks to engage with Crown entities as a ‘critical friend’ (at times acting as an adviser or sector leader), but at the same time it must not undermine the boards’ direct line of accountability to the Minister, and must not prejudice its primary role as agent and trusted adviser to the Minister.

In its monitoring role, the Ministry advises and assists the Minister with appointments to each board, helping to set and clarify expectations for each entity, and reviewing the performance of the board and the Crown entity overall.

Evaluation Strategy


The Ministry’s Evaluation Strategy coordinates with other related planning documents, to ensure it is well equipped to prioritise its resource for key projects and support those with robust and appropriate evaluation. The ultimate aim is to provide best quality advice on the effectiveness of interventions to decision-makers.

Guidance will be provided through knowledge hubs and engagement with the transport sector, and structures are in place to help shape the nature and forms of evaluation.

Regulatory stewardship


One of the Ministry’s key leadership roles is to take responsibility for the stewardship of the transport regulatory system, in close conjunction with the transport agencies. To deliver on regulatory stewardship we take a whole of system view, take a proactive, collaborative approach to monitoring, reviewing and maintaining the system, and treat our regulatory system
as an asset that requires long-term investment.

One way the Ministry meets its stewardship role is by managing the transport rules programme. The transport rules programme is a rolling programme of new principal rules, revocations and amendments that is managed by the Ministry.

Technology and innovation
work programme


The Ministry has developed a work programme to understand the role that future technologies could play in our transport system, and what may be required from a policy and regulatory perspective to enable technologies that make a positive contribution towards the outcomes that Government is seeking to achieve. 

Key projects under this work programme include contributing to the development of a business case for a Satellite-Based Augmentation System, and developing roadmaps to identify what may be required to prepare New Zealand for driverless vehicles and unmanned and autonomous aircraft. 

Transport Sector Funding
Review Programme


The Ministry is responsible for completing fees and funding reviews across the transport sector, including for:

  • the NZ Transport Agency Rail Safety Regulator
  • Aviation Security Service (Avsec)
  • Maritime New Zealand
  • the NZ Transport Agency Motor Vehicle Licensing.

And a funding review only for:

  • Transport Accident Investigation Commission.


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