The Government released its three-year National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) earlier this month.

The programme represents a $24.3 billion package for transport services and infrastructure over the next three years, a 44 percent increase compared to the last three years. The programme will be managed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Funding has been allocated to the key areas of maintenance and operations ($2 billion), public transport investment, walking and cycling and the Road to Zero strategy. Allocations made as part of the New Zealand Road Upgrade programme and the former Provincial Growth Fund are also included in the package.

Gisborne and the West Coast have received the lowest allocations in each of the four primary areas. Auckland has received the bulk of the funding allocation of $7.3 billion, with the Wellington region at a distant second of $3.1 billion and the Waikato third with $1.5 billion. Other allocations in descending order are:

  • Bay of Plenty – $1.4 billion
  • Manawatū/Whanganui – $1.3 billion
  • Canterbury – $1.2 billion
  • Otago/Southland – $1.1 billion
  • Northland – $751 million
  • Taranaki – $447 million
  • Hawke’s Bay – $376 million
  • Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough – $289 million
  • Gisborne – $209 million
  • West Coast – $178 million.

The NLTP includes an allocation of $1.3 billion to implement the NZ Rail Plan and $30 million to support coastal shipping. Further announcements on how this will support moving freight along the blue highway will be made later.                             

Almost $7 billion will be invested in local road and state highway maintenance, which will see around 7,000 lane kilometres of state highway and 18,000 lane kilometres of local roads renewed.  A further $3.9 billion will be spent on road improvements that will help connect communities, ensure the reliable movement of freight and improve network resilience across the country.

There have been reports of many of our roads being “sweated” so the increased funding for maintenance will hopefully allow critical maintenance and repair works to be undertaken. Timely maintenance of our roading infrastructure can achieve significant cost savings as compared to allowing roads to deteriorate significantly that then require full replacement.

While not transport infrastructure, the next stage of Taumarunui’s water infrastructure upgrade is a case in point. The Ruapehu District Council is spending $1.1 million on relining the wastewater and stormwater mains along Hakiaha Street. The council has stated that relining the existing pipes will both strengthen and extend the life of the pipes by up to 80 years. Relining rather than full replacement will save both money and community disruption from needing to dig up the main street.