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Upgrading our transport for the future

The Chris Hipkins Government is upgrading New Zealand’s transport system to make it safer, cleaner, more resilient and efficient – for now and future generations to come.

Today, we announced a nation-building transport programme which will grow the economy and create jobs, help Kiwi households and businesses cut emissions, and help Kiwis get around our regions and cities faster and safer.

Here are the details:

We’re focussed on investing in the priorities of New Zealanders. A big part of this is ensuring we make fast progress on key transport infrastructure that will support our economic growth and improve productivity, so that we can achieve our full potential as a country.

Our 10-year transport plan identifies 14 key nation-building projects to improve connectivity and keep our country moving over the coming decades.

We’ll invest in major routes like state highways across Northland, Tauranga, Waikato, and Christchurch, as well as developing new busways and rail projects in Auckland and Wellington. Plus, we’ll upgrade rail connections across the upper North Island.

The routes are:

  • Warkworth to Whangārei – State Highway 1; Te Hana to Brynderwyns, Warkworth to Wellsford and Whangārei to Brynderwyns
  • Auckland Northwest Rapid Transit
  • Auckland third and fourth rail line expansion
  • Avondale to Onehunga rail link
  • Level crossing upgrade and removal – Auckland and Wellington
  • Cambridge to Piarere – State Highway 1
  • Tauranga to Tauriko – State Highway 29
  • Wellington CBD to Airport – second Mount Victoria Tunnel and upgrades to Basin Reserve/Arras Tunnel
  • Wellington CBD to Island Bay – Mass Rapid Transit
  • Napier to Hastings – four-laning State Highway 2
  • Nelson (Rocks Road) shared path – State Highway 6
  • Richmond – Hope Bypass – State Highway 6
  • Christchurch Northern Link – State Highway 1
  • Ashburton Bridge – State Highway 1

These routes include a balanced mix of public transport and roads, to reduce congestion, manage emissions, improve safety, grow the economy and open up areas for housing.

They complement our existing investments in roads like Otaki to North of Levin, the Takitimu North Link and Melling under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, as well as faster, more reliable public transport through Auckland Light Rail, the Eastern Busway, and City Rail Link.

They also complement the major programme of repairs and resilience upgrades that we have already funded for state highways across cyclone-affected areas like Tairāwhiti and the Hawke’s Bay which is being supported through the National Resilience Plan.

The draft Government Policy Statement invests $20.8 billion over the next 3 years and $70 billion over the next decade to upgrade our transport system –  the largest investment in road maintenance ever.

This funding gets the balance right and targets spending where it’s needed most: on reducing congestion and emissions, while boosting productivity and improving the resilience of our transport network. 

This Government inherited a road maintenance crisis. But our plan will enable a major boost to road maintenance, along with key critical new roading and public transport projects that New Zealanders want and deserve. All while continuing to invest in public transport, walking and cycling to give Kiwis around the country more choices about how they travel.


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