New Zealand announces $20 billion land transport package

New Zealand

infrastructure, land transport, new zealand, transport,

254 views

The $20b land transport package announced by New Zealand will include a new $500m Pothole Prevention Fund and 15 new Roads of National Significance.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown has released the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, outlining the Coalition Government’s plan to build and maintain a transport system.

“Over the next three years, our investment of around $7 billion per year prioritises economic growth and productivity, increased maintenance and resilience, safety, and value for money. It balances the need for investing in new projects, while ensuring our transport system is maintained to a high standard,” Mr Brown says.

“Delivering on commitments in our Coalition Agreements, we are re-introducing the successful Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme, with 15 projects to enable people and freight to move as quickly, and safely, as possible.

“The draft GPS also commits up to $2.3 billion for public transport services and $2.1 billion for public transport infrastructure over the next three years. Delivering reliable, effective, and efficient public transport is a priority, particularly in our main cities of Auckland and Wellington.”

Source: Newshub via YouTube

The draft GPS increases road maintenance funding by $640 million compared to the draft GPS released by the previous Government in August 2023 (this difference has been calculated at the midpoint of the activity class funding ranges).

“Potholes have become increasingly apparent on our roads in the past five years. To address this, we have established new State Highway and Local Road Pothole Prevention Activity Classes these activity classes will direct between $3.1 billion and $4.8 billion to address potholes on State Highways and local roads.

Ensuring that investment in transport is value for money and delivers better outcomes is a key focus of GPS 2024. The Government also recognises the increasing pressures on the National Land Transport Fund, and the need to increase revenue.

“The Government will appoint independent members to the Road Efficiency Group and refocus its efforts on finding efficiencies in road maintenance, standardising maintenance protocols, reducing expenditure on temporary traffic management, and reviewing maintenance contracts.

Motor Vehicle Licensing to increase

“To balance the transport budget, we are proposing an increase to the Motor Vehicle Licencing Fee by $25 in January 2025 and a further $25 in January 2026.

“We will also provide a Crown grant of $3.1 billion, a Crown loan of $3.1 billion, and a 12 cent, 6 cent, and annual ongoing 4 cent per litre increase in Fuel Excise Duty, and RUC equivalent, in January 2027, 2028, and 2029, respectively. We will not be raising FED and RUC this term.

“I expect the NZTA to consider different ways of funding and delivering major transport investments, ensuring they make efficient use of every dollar spent. This will likely include Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), increased use of tolling, ‘Build, Own, Operate, Transfer’ equity finance schemes, and value capture, to generate additional revenue and deliver infrastructure in a more efficient manner.

“Alongside the draft GPS, we are signalling several system reforms, including shifting to a 10-year National Land Transport Programme, progressing legislation on time of use charging, and moving the whole vehicle fleet to RUC.

New $500 million Pothole Prevention Fund

The Coalition Government will increase investment in road maintenance, including establishing a new $500 million Pothole Prevention Fund to tackle the record number of potholes on our roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.

“In 2023, over 62,000 potholes needed repair on State Highways around New Zealand, the highest number in ten years.”

“It is my expectation that these activity classes will be paired with a focus on achieving long-term maintenance outcomes of 2 percent of the state highway network renewed each year and 9 percent of the state highway network resealed each year and increasing requirements for potholes to be fixed within 24 hours.

15 new Roads of National Significance

“Delivering on commitments in our Coalition Agreements, we are re-introducing the successful Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme, with 15 crucial projects to support economic growth and regional development across New Zealand,” Mr Brown says.

Image Source: Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024/25–2033/24

“The RoNS projects previously built by National are some of New Zealand’s most successful State Highway corridors, reducing congestion and improving safety. Independent analysis has found the construction of eight new bypasses, between January 2009 and December 2016, resulted in up to a 37 percent reduction in deaths and serious injuries across those roads.

All RoNS will be four-laned, grade-separated highways, and all funding, financing, and delivery options should be considered to deliver them in stages as quickly as possible.

The Roads of National Significance include:

Whangarei to Auckland, with the following stages prioritised:

  • Alternative to Brynderwyns
  • Whangarei to Port Marsden
  • Warkworth to Wellsford.

Tauranga to Auckland, with the following stages prioritised:

  • Cambridge to Piarere
  • Tauriko West State Highway 29.

Auckland roads:

  • Mill Road
  • the East West Link.

Roads to unlock housing growth:

  • Hamilton Southern Links
  • Petone to Grenada Link Road and the
    Cross Valley Link
  • North West Alternative State Highway
    (SH 16).

Other major routes:

  • Takitimu Northern Link Stage 2
  • Hawkes Bay Expressway
  • Second Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin
    Reserve upgrade
  • the Hope Bypass
  • The Belfast to Pegasus Motorway and
    Woodend Bypass.

“Legislation is already underway to provide fast-track consenting approvals. We expect this to support major transport projects within the GPS, like the RoNS. This will provide immediate confidence to the construction sector to invest in capability and equipment needed to deliver projects.

“The use of alternative revenue, funding, and delivery models will also support delivery of the RoNS. This includes Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), increased use of tolling, ‘Build, Own, Operate, Transfer’ equity finance schemes, and value capture, to generate additional revenue and deliver infrastructure in a more efficient manner.

Source: Crown copyright

Source: Crown copyright

^ Back to top