Government’s Policy Statement on Transport confirms record investment over the
next decade, but with capital investment levels half what they are in
Australia, ongoing congestion, housing unaffordability and constrained economic
growth will continue,” says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.
“The final GPS for
Transport released today locks in record transport spending of $4 billion
moving to $4.7 billion per annum over the next decade, supported by new fuel
“The funding certainty
this provides to the New Zealand Transport Agency, councils and transport
industry is welcome and it’s clear that the Government is doing as much as it
feasibly can with existing transport tools.
“But it’s not enough.
In fact, it’s well short.
“New South Wales has
announced a A$14.7 billion transport capital programme for the 2018/19
“By comparison, just $2
billion - $3 billion of GPS spending this year will be focused on improving
“Even after top-ups
from the consolidated account to pay for Auckland’s City Rail Link and council
expenditure, New Zealand’s investment in transport improvements will be half
what the New South Wales government alone is doing on a per capita basis.
“This is why New
Zealand’s cities are among the most congested for their size in the developed
world and it is why we can’t unlock enough land to house our population.
“It is also why nothing
is going to change, in spite of record investment, until we change the way we
plan, fund and deliver transport.
“Asking road users to
cover the cost of projects increasingly oriented towards urban development
separates those funding improvements from those who will benefit – landowners.
investment to levels road users are prepared to tolerate holds back the economy
and urban development.
“We need to double
investment if we are serious about tackling congestion, improving safety and
“Projects with strong
benefit-cost ratios and significant strategic benefits need to be accelerated.
projects need to be debt financed. It is not realistic to fund a long-term
investment programme by an annual allocation from road user charges.
“Debt should be repaid
by beneficiaries – road users, property owners and the Government via GST,
income and corporate taxes which grow with the economy.
“A shift to road
pricing would not only provide the mechanism to fund needed investment, it
would also manage congestion much more effectively.
investment is a step in the right direction, but New Zealand remains a giant
leap behind our competitors.
“If we want to change our transport
performance, we need to change our outdated and restrictive transport funding
system,” Selwood says.
For further information and comment contact
Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209