Labour has rebalanced transport investment to tackle the long-term issues of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, easing traffic congestion, boosting regional economies, and preventing deaths and injuries on our roads.
Labour is already rolling out our transport plan that is better, faster and fully funded across the country, including investment into regional and rural roads, to create jobs, address our vast transport infrastructure deficit, and improve public safety on our roads. That’s why we are:
- Building $6.8 billion dollars’ worth of transport projects across the country as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme. This includes major roads, road safety improvements, and rail. It’s expected to create 800-1000 new jobs in our civil construction industry as the first five projects get underway in the next 12 months, and 7,000 to 9,000 direct opportunities for our wider supply chain
- Investing over $700 million for shovel ready transport projects such as cycleways, walkways, ports and roads, to help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild. In total the shovel ready projects will create more than 20,000 jobs up and down New Zealand
- Fast-tracking critical job-rich infrastructure projects through changes to the Resource Management Act so projects can get started and stimulate our economy
In addition to this plan, Labour will continue to invest in electric vehicles through our Low Emission Vehicle Contestable Fund and encourage innovation and investment in EVs, from supermarket delivery vans to more EV chargers, on top of the more than 600 we’ve already installed.
Labour’s achievements to date
During the COVID crisis
At the beginning of the pandemic, we were quick to provide urgent support to our aviation sector to ensure urgent freight to, from and around New Zealand was still accessible. We funded extra footpaths and temporary cycleways to help people keep a 2m physical distance during the elevated alert levels and we extended licenses, WOFs and regos so people didn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document during lockdown.
Before the COVID crisis
We’ve taken a balanced approach to the transport network that provides choice, accessibility and cost-efficiency. We’ve made the biggest investment ever made in transport to help grow our regions, make it easier to get around our cities, and save lives on our roads.
Improving road safety is our number one transport priority which is why we made safety improvements on our state highways. We’ve delivered more than 2,000 kms of safety upgrades, up to 169kms of road safety barriers in higher risk areas, and upgraded nine high-risk rural intersections to help save lives on our deadliest roads. Our upgrades are expected to prevent 160 deaths a year.
We’ve also invested heavily in rail, to help connect our regions and take more trucks off the roads. We boosted KiwiRail by $4.5 billion to provide for new tracks, bridges and tunnels and making train services more reliable, are re-establishing KiwiRail’s Hillside Workshop in Dunedin, are building a rail-road hub in Palmerston North and reopened the Napier to Wairoa rail line, to name a few projects.
We boosted our regional economies by doubling investment in local roads. The Provincial Growth Fund has invested in roading and rail projects designed to grow regions like the Tairawhiti package, Kaipara kick start package and the Hawke’s Bay transport package.
We’re taking climate change seriously through unprecedented investment in public transport and walking and cycling improvements. Compared to the previous government, public transport investment is up 163 per cent and investment in walking and cycling is up 227 per cent.
Our public transport investments aim to cut congestion and enable growth by getting cities moving. Projects include the Puhinui rail and bus interchange that will allow a 10-minute bus connection to Auckland Airport, a major upgrade of the Wellington metro network to make services more quick and reliable, commuter rail from Hamilton to Auckland and new busways in Christchurch and Queenstown.