What are we seeking to achieve?

The objective seeks to achieve a New Zealand transport system that places manageable pressure on the environment, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and their associated negative impacts. 

Outcomes relating to this objective are:

  • negative impacts of transport are reducing in terms of the human and natural environments
  • the transport system is actively moving towards reducing the use of non-renewable resources and their replacement with renewable resources

What will we do to achieve this?

Summary of activities

Cross-government climate change policy development - Actions undertaken: 2008-2011

  • Contribute to the development of national policy on climate change and international negotiating positions

Improve transport sustainability - Actions undertaken: 2008-2011

  • Develop policy to promote the reduction in CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy
  • Develop alternative vehicle fleet options
  • Promote alternative fuel and technology options

Electric Vehicle Strategy - Actions undertaken: 2008-2011

  • Position New Zealand to be one of the first countries in the world to widely deploy electric vehicles and support the newly established Vehicle, Energy and Renewable Group (VERG)

Vehicle Fuel Economy Standard - Actions undertaken: 2008-2011

  • Develop a standard or average fuel economy, based on grams of CO2/km, for new and used light vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet out to 2015

Corporate sustainability - Actions undertaken: 2008-2011

  • Provision of transport methodologies, for example travel plans to support other agencies
  • Ensure the Ministry meets its requirement under the Carbon Neutral Public Service programme5
  • Monitor and minimise the impact of the operations of the Ministry and its staff on the environment

Implement the updated New Zealand Transport Strategy (NZTS) -
Actions undertaken: 2008-2011

  • Support and monitor progress of the updated NZTS
  • Undertake actions set out in the strategy
  • Ensure that the direction of the updated NZTS is known, understood and accepted by key stakeholders

Domestic TransportGreenhouse Gas Emissions
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New Zealand Engine Size Trend
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Reducing the size of engine that vehicle owners choose will substantially reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy. One of our aims is to improve transport sustainability through promoting alternative fuel and technology options.

Auckland Congestion - Delay in Minutes
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Congestion is a major issue in Auckland. It causes delays for people trying to get to work, school and play, and also causes health issues and environmental damage. One of our aims is to reduce CO2 emissions, which is directly related to reducing congestion.

How will we demonstrate success in achieving this?

To demonstrate success in achieving the outcomes relating to the objective of ensuring environmental sustainability, we will:

  • Report quarterly to the responsible Minister on the electric vehicle and the Vehicle, Energy and Renewable Group work programmes
  • Progress the different policy initiatives which relate to 'Improve Transport Sustainability', including relevant report backs, according to agreed time-frames

Policy advice will be delivered in accordance with the agreed policy quality criteria listed in 'Policy Advice Quality Characteristics' in the Appendix, as determined through delivery recorded against the project plan.


  1. The Carbon Neutral Public Service programme aims to demonstrate government leadership on sustainability by reducing government's environmental impact. It aims for the six lead agencies (Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Health, The Treasury, Inland Revenue, and the Ministry of Economic Development) to be carbon neutral by 2012 with the other 28 agencies being on the path to carbon neutrality by 2012.

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