National Land Transport Programme invests $24.3 billion

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Record investment also looks at reducing emissions

An Artist’s impression of the Airport-Botany Rapid Transit Project (NLTP website)

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Wellington, September 7, 2021

The government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced.

The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released on September 7, 2021. It outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will make over the next three years.

Mr Wood said that the NLTP will drive the economic recovery by supporting thousands of jobs around the country.

“With local government, we will be investing a record $24.3 billion into transport services and infrastructure over the next three years, an increase of 44% compared to the last three years and 75% more than the previous government. Our government has listened to the concerns of local government and communities and we have stepped in to provide $2 billion of financing to boost road maintenance and public transport. We could not accept our roads deteriorating,” he said.

Transport Minister Michael Wood (INL File Photo)

Reducing emissions

Mr Wood said that New Zealand must continue to drive down emissions and congestion by giving Kiwis more transport choices. This NLTP marks a step-change with nearly $6 billion being invested in public transport and walking and cycling, an increase of about 40% compared to the previous three years.

“To further reduce emissions and help freight move efficiently, the NLTP delivers $1.3 billion to implement the New Zealand Rail Plan and $30 million to support coastal shipping. There will be further announcements on how this will support moving freight along the blue highway in the future. Safety remains a top priority for this government and we will be investing $2.9 billion in our road safety plan Road to Zero to help prevent tragedies. This will include making 17 high-risk state highway corridors safer, with 51 intersection improvements, 25 new roundabouts, and 164kms of safety barriers,” he said.

Local Roads and State Highways

Mr Wood said that about $7 billion will be invested in local road and state highway maintenance, which will see around 7000 lane kilometres of state highway and 18,000 lane kilometres of local roads renewed. The previous government flatlined road maintenance spending, so since coming into government, we have boosted it by nearly 50% to help bring our roads back up to scratch.

“Our transport network is increasingly being impacted by severe weather events as a result of climate change, so on top of our road maintenance investments, a further $3.9 billion will be spent on road improvements that will help connect communities, ensure the reliable movement of freight and improve resilience across the country. This will see important projects like Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatu Tararua Highway and the Waikato Expressway completed,” Mr Wood said.

Full details of the investments being made through the National Land Transport Programme, including detailed regional breakdowns, can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/nltp

About the National Land Transport Programme

The NLTP is funded through $15.6 billion from the National Land Transport Fund, generated through fuel excise, road user charges and other revenue sources; $4.6 billion from local government, generated through rates and Auckland’s Regional Fuel Tax; and $3.8 billion in other Crown investments like the NZ Upgrade Programme and the Provincial Growth Fund.

The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released on September 7, 2021.

The government has completed or made progress on many projects over the last three years, including the following:

In Northland, we completed a range of safety improvements including a new roundabout at Loop Road (north) and intersection improvements at the SH1/Portland Road intersection south of Whangarei; at SH1 Tarewa Road intersection; and the intersection of SH10 and Waipapa Road. Northland’s one-lane bridges at Taipa and Matakohe were replaced and new roundabouts were built at SH1/SH11 Kawakawa and SH10/SH11 Puketona Junction through the NZ Upgrade Programme.

Work progressed on the Ara Tuhono Puhoi to Warkworth Motorway, extending the existing SH1 Northern Motorway by 18.5 kms from the Johnstones Hill Tunnels to just north of Warkworth. When completed in 2022, the motorway will improve access, reliability and safety to and from Northland, Warkworth and northeast Rodney.

Southern Corridor improvements

Auckland’s $250 million Southern Corridor Improvements were completed to provide safer and more reliable trips, including more lanes, new walking and cycling paths, better safety barriers, and an upgrade to the Takanini interchange. 

Construction began on the NZ Upgrade Programme’s SH1 Papakura to Drury improvements to further upgrade the Southern Motorway. The project includes a shared walking and cycling path to provide more travel options further south.

Papatoetoe’s new Puhinui Station opened, a major bus and train interchange to improve travel to and from the airport and its surrounding areas by providing more reliable and emission-free travel choices.

Te Huia, the new Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service, was launched.

The Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway was completed and good progress was made on the $607 million Hamilton section – the final section of the region’s biggest-ever roading project.

A range of safety improvements was completed along SH1 Cambridge to Piarere to reduce the number and impact of serious crashes along this stretch of highway.

Bay of Plenty projects

In the Bay of Plenty, we completed the SH36 pedestrian and cycle overbridge between The Lakes and Tauranga Crossing to create a safe connection across the state highway; the Paengaroa to Rotoiti cycle trail, providing a safe off-road link to cycling along a busy stretch of SH33; the SH2 Woodlands Ōpōtiki Shared Path to improve safety and provide a path for pedestrians and cyclists under the Waioeka Bridge in Opotiki, and the Rotorua Urban Cycleway to support the town’s economic development.

In Gisborne, the former one-lane Motu Bridge on SH2 was replaced with a new two-lane bridge (now named Te Whitinga o Tamataipunoa), funded through the Regional Economic Development Fund, and $6 million was spent improving safety on SH2/SH35 with safety barriers, rumble stripes and improved signage.

Hawke’s Bay Expressway

The Hawke’s Bay Expressway underwent significant safety improvements including road widening, side and median barriers, and new passing opportunities, and the Watchman Road roundabout was built to improve safety at one of New Zealand’s most dangerous intersections.

More than 163 kms of roads in Hawke’s Bay were made safer with a variety of shoulder widening, median and side barriers, rumble strips and line-markings.

In Taranaki, we completed the $37.5 million Awakino Tunnel Bypass, part of the SH3 safety and resilience improvements from Awakino Gorge to Mt Messenger, and initial safety improvements on SH3 between Waitara and Bell Block including the removal of a passing lane and the installation of wide centrelines.

Taranaki’s Forgotten World Highway

Work began on improvements to Taranaki’s Forgotten World Highway (SH43) funded through the regional package of the NZ Upgrade Programme. This included completing the rebuild of a two-lane bridge over a damaged culvert on SH43 at Pohokura to reinstating the road to two lanes.

Work got underway on the new $620 million Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatu Tararua Highway project that will connect Manawatu, the Tararua district, Hawke’s Bay and northern Wairarapa, providing a safer, more resilience route.

The new SH1 Whirokino Trestle and Manawatū River Bridge project between Levin and Foxton was completed, improving the safety, resilience and reliability of this key freight route.

The $19 million He Ara Kotahi cycling and walking pathway opened in Palmerston North, connecting Palmerston North City, Massey University and Linton;

The Te Tuawai (The Spine) cycleway was completed providing a safe route across the Whanganui City Bridge; and the new Upokongaro to City Cycleway, forming part of the Mountains to Sea cycleway, from Ohakune through the National Park to Whanganui.

Lower Hutt Cycleway

The $7 million northern and central sections of Lower Hutt’s Beltway cycleway, from Waterloo Station to the Hutt River; the $14.8 million Te Hikoi Arawera separated pathway between Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata; and the $6.8 million Hutt Road cycling improvements, including Kaiwharawhara Bridge and the Cobham Drive section of the Tahitai pathway.

Good progress was made on the $1.25 billion Transmission Gully motorway and the $405 million Peka Peka to Otaki (PP20) section of the Kapiti Expressway.

In the Top of the South, we completed Nelson’s Tahunanui shared pathway, Tasman’s shared pathway for walking and cycling between Takaka and Paines Ford to improve safety along SH60; and in Marlborough a new bridge was built on SH1 over the Opaoa River, providing safer access for cyclists and pedestrians.

West Coast jobs

On the West Coast, we built the new two-lane Ahaura Bridge on SH7, replacing an old single-lane partial wooden bridge to strengthen freight connections, and opened the Croesus Trail, 10 kms of which forms part of the 55km Great Walk Paparoa Track.

We completed the remaining two Christchurch Motorways projects – the Northern Corridor, with a separated shared walking and cycling path and the South Island’s first high occupancy vehicle lane; and the final stage of the Southern Motorway.

The realignment of Mingha Bluff, through Arthur’s Pass National Park, was completed, significantly improving safety and strengthening this key freight route from Canterbury to the West Coast.

Work began on the $31 million final 5 km section of shared path, that will create a safe, off-road walking and cycling link between Port Chalmers and Dunedin.

A new Alpine Operations Centre was opened on SH94 to house tunnel operations staff and the Milford Road avalanche and rockfall protection programmes team.

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