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What you need to know

Previously, investment in New Zealand’s rail network lacked a long-term view about rail’s role in our transport system. This resulted in short-term investment decision-making. We need a new approach to how we plan and fund our rail network.

The New Zealand Rail Plan sets out the Government’s vision and priorities for rail until 2030, and the levels of investment needed to achieve it. It is a product of the recommendations from the Future of Rail review.

This is a significant programme of change for the land transport system and will come into effect with the National Land Transport Programme 2021–24. 

National Land Transport Programme

The work to date

Jul 2021

First Rail Network Investment Programme approved

The first Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP) has been approved by the Transport Minister in June 2021. It was developed by KiwiRail and guided by the Government’s strategic priorities outlined in GPS 2021 and the Rail Plan. Waka Kotahi advised the Minister of Transport on its approval, and KiwiRail shareholding Ministers were consulted. It follows amendments to the Land Transport Management Act 2003 last year.

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May 2021–Present

New Zealand Rail Plan released

The Minister for Transport released the NZ Rail Plan, outlining a 10-year vision to support increased investment and resilience in New Zealand’s rail network.

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Jul 2020

Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Act comes into effect

The Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Act 2020 (the Rail Act) came into force on 1 July 2020.  The Rail Act amends the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (the LTMA) and the Land Transport Act 1998 to implement a new long-term planning and funding system for the heavy rail track network owned by KiwiRail.

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Mar 2020–May 2020

Draft Rail Plan consultation

Stakeholders and the public were invited to watch our presentation video and provide feedback on the strategic investment priorities detailed in the draft Rail Plan. Consultation with a wider group of stakeholders took place in conjunction with the GPS 2021 consultation.

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Aug 2019–Dec 2019

Draft Rail Plan developed

The Future of Rail review included recommendations for government to ensure a resilient and reliable rail network. In August 2019, Cabinet agreed we should incorporate these recommendations into a draft Rail Plan and that the LTMA should be amended to implement a new planning and funding framework for the rail network through the Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill.

More information and related documents
Sep 2017–Present

Future of Rail review underway

We are leading this review to define and develop the Future of Rail in New Zealand, so that rail can be integrated into the transport system. This will mean rail can be planned, funded and looked after alongside other transport modes.

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