The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Michael Wood, outlined how climate change is impacting the transport sector now. He explained that the transport sector is also responsible for 40 per cent of our CO2 emissions with transport emissions having increased by 90 per cent since 1990.
There is an urgent need to decarbonise the sector and provide New Zealanders with more zero or low emission transport choices. The Minister reflected that the Emissions Reduction Plan sets challenging targets for transport and means investment in the sector will need to be very different from what it has been in the past.
Investment in high quality infrastructure, such as mass rapid transit systems, will be critical to ensuring our cities are well-functioning. He said that the challenge of funding our ongoing transport infrastructure needs is being investigated. This also includes work on congestion pricing which was unanimously supported by the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee inquiry.
Beca’s Darren Wu, facilitated a great panel discussion on the key ingredients for the Future of New Zealand Housing with Helmut Modlik of Te Rūnanga O Toa Rangatira, Beca’s Tracey Haszard and GHD’s Duncan Tindall.
The panel reflected on what was important for not only housing but also how we build our communities. COVID has provided us with an opportunity to reconsider what outcomes we want and highlighted the need for self-sufficient communities. They agreed there is a need to plan for a net zero future while also addressing the current housing shortage and ensuring equitable outcomes for our future generations. Current institutional and structural arrangements make holistic delivery of all the elements housing, transport, and other physical and social infrastructure difficult. To deliver on improvements in this space, cultural change will be critical.