17 Sep 2020

Government finalises 10 year plan for transport infrastructure and services

6:22 am on 17 September 2020

The government has finalised plans for how it will spend $48 billion on transport infrastructure and services over the next decade.

Phil Twyfor, Minister for Housing and Urban Development and Transport.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the Government Policy Statement on land transport builds on its transport policy. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 priorities include safety, better transport options, improving freight connections and climate change.

It was also confirmed that the government will not raise petrol taxes or road user charges during the 2021-2023 period.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the focus is jobs.

"The GPS is on top of 'shovel ready' transport projects and those being built through the NZ Upgrade Programme and Provincial Growth Fund - together they will create and support thousands of jobs."

The GPS built on the government's transport policy, Twyford said.

Feedback on the draft GPS had prompted the government to increase funding for state highway maintenance by $510 million.

Rail was also getting an extra $500m to "keep the network on track, which will help us reduce emissions, accidents and the costs of road maintenance by shifting more freight to rail," Twyford said.

What is the GPS 2021?

Twyford's foreword on the GPS describes it as "our roadmap for how the government develops and maintains a transport network that keeps pace with future social and economic changes".

"It puts forward strategic priorities and investment principles that are informed by urban spatial economics to ensure our land transport system is economically and environmentally sustainable."

GPS is how the government guides Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency to invest more than $4.5b a year raised through the National Land Transport Fund over the period of 2021/22 - 2030/31.

Money for the National Land Transport Fund Revenue is collected from fuel excise duty, road user charges, vehicle and driver registration and licensing, state highway property disposal and leasing and road tolling.

Road to Zero

The government's Road to Zero strategy will get $10b over the next decade.

Twyford said safety remained the government's top priority, with an aim to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the road by 40 percent.

"That means on average $1 billion a year being spent on better resourcing the police on our roads, safety infrastructure like median barriers, and public safety campaigns," he said.

"We're making good progress addressing the infrastructure deficit we inherited with the revenue from GPS 2018, so I am confirming the government will not raise petrol taxes and road user charges during 2021-23."

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