The aim is to deliver a safer, better connected and more resilient transport system that will get New Zealand moving, said transport minister Phil Twyford.
The planned investments are detailed in the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), published today by the NZ Transport Agency. The NZ$16.9b investment over the next three years marks an increase of 18% from the previous 2015/18 NLTP, and a 44% increase from 2012/15.
The NLTP comprises NZ$12.9bn from the National Land Transport Fund, generated through fuel excise, road user charges, and other revenue sources; NZ$3.4bn from local government, generated through rates and Auckland’s Regional Fuel Tax; and NZ$557m in other Crown investments.
“This record investment in our transport system will help grow our regions, make it easier to get around our cities, and save lives on our roads. It will deliver the best results for our transport dollar,” said Twyford.
He said that the government is making safety a priority and that NZ$4.3bn of investment will go into programmes and projects that will save lives by preventing accidents or reducing their severity.
“Most roading investment will go to the regions, rather than the big cities,” said Twyford. “This reverses the situation in the last three years, when most of roading investment went to the metro centres.” In total, “neglected” regional roads will receive NZ$5.8bn of funding, a NZ$600m increase. This compares to NZ$5bn for roads in metro areas. A further NZ$300m will be invested in the regions in non-road projects. Significant investment will be made to improve freight connections to ports, airports and distribution centres.
To ease congestion and make cities healthier places to live, nearly NZ$4bn will be invested in public transport, rapid transit, and rail, said Twyford, with a further NZ$390m for walking and cycling. This will fund projects including the AMETI busway, renewal work on Wellington’s rail tracks, Skypath and Seapath walk/cycleways, and investigation of a new commuter ferry service in Queenstown.
State highways continue to receive the largest share of funding with a total of NZ$5.7bn. The plan will invest NZ$3.5bn in new state highway projects such as Puhoi to Warkworth, the Waikato Expressway, the Mt Messenger bypass, the Manawatu Gorge replacement, Transmission Gully and the Christchurch Southern Motorway. A further NZ$2.2bn will be invested in state highway maintenance, said Twyford.