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$1.2 billion investment to keep Canterbury region moving and save lives


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency today announced $1.2 billion will be in invested in Canterbury to deliver a safer and more resilient transport system over the next three years.

Waka Kotahi has published details of the planned programme of investment in Canterbury’s transport system over the next three years as part of the wider $24.3 billion investment in New Zealand’s transport system set out in the 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Ngā Kaupapa Huarahi o Aotearoa | 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP)

“This investment in our transport system will help support the Canterbury economy, make it easier to get around and save lives on our roads. It will deliver the best results for our transport dollar,” says James Caygill, Director Regional Relationships, Waka Kotahi.

“Safety is a top priority for Waka Kotahi and $146 million will be spent on programmes and projects across Canterbury that will reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. This includes improving safety across corridors, including SH1 Rakaia to Ashburton, SH1 Timaru to St Andrews and SH75 Tai Tapu to Akaroa.”

Half of Canterbury’s funding - $605 million – will be spent on maintaining the region’s local roads and state highways.

“To help keep the region moving, work will continue to encourage people to use transport options that are healthier and leave a smaller carbon footprint. This includes investing a further $5.3 million to expand Christchurch’s cycleway network and $2 million on an on-demand public transport service in Timaru,” says Mr Caygill.

In a world experiencing the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, ensuring the reliable flow of goods to market is critical, he says. “This is particularly important in Canterbury as the region moves significant volumes of freight and produces around 57% of the South Island’s GDP. This includes improvements to vital freight rail lines that connect Canterbury to ports and other regions, replacing seven rail bridges, strengthening 11 further rail bridges and re-sleepering 31kms of track.

“Investment through the NLTP will contribute to a land transport system for Canterbury that’s safer, provide more sustainable travel options for those living in cities and supports the local economy.”

Full details of the investments being made through the National Land Transport Programme, including detailed regional breakdowns, can be found at

Editors’ notes: 

  • The 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) is a partnership between local government, which invests local funding on behalf of ratepayers, and Waka Kotahi, which invests national funding on behalf of Government through the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF). Funds for the NLTF are collected from petrol excise, road user charges and vehicle registration and licensing fees.
  • The $24.3 billion 2021–24 NLTP includes $15.6 billion from the NLTF and $4.6 billion from local government. Government will also invest $3.8 billion in additional Crown funding to deliver specific programmes through the NLTP.
  • NLTP investments are designed to give effect to the strategic priorities outlined in the Government Policy Statement for land transport (GPS).
  • Demand for funding for the 2021–24 NLTP period has been higher than ever before and the Government has provided additional financing of $2 billion that will enable Waka Kotahi to deliver more for New Zealand with its co-investment partners.