NZTA gearing up for $9 billion investment in land transport


The NZ Transport Agency is entering the final stages in the development of the 2012/15 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), which will represent a $9 billion investment in New Zealand’s land transport system.

NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said the 2012/15 NLTP would focus on delivering local and national transport network solutions that enable economic growth and productivity, provide value for money and support safer journeys.

Following the direction outlined in the Government Policy Statement on land transport funding (GPS), Mr Dangerfield says the 2012/15 NLTP will reflect the NZTA’s commitment to:

  • deliver the best possible value for money from existing and future land transport activities
  • invest in activities which best improve safety and support economic growth
  • provide a range of transport choices based on people’s needs and preferences

Mr Dangerfield said while the detailed levels of investment set out in the 2012/15 NLTP would not be finalised until September, the NZTA Board had endorsed indicative investment levels for five key areas, and the agency had provided this information to regional transport committees and local authorities in order to give councils the certainty they need to make decisions on their regional and district council long term plans.

“NZTA staff all around the country have been meeting regularly with their council counterparts for several months to ensure that they understand the focus of the NLTP, and to help them prioritise their own transport programmes so that the activities at the top of their lists are those most likely to be funded – that means those which provide the best value for money, improve safety, support economic growth and provide people with a range of transport choices.”

Mr Dangerfield said the NZTA would be working closely with councils in the weeks and months ahead as the NLTP was finalised.

He said that while the 2012/15 NLTP represents the biggest ever investment in New Zealand’s transport system - including a 33% increase in funding for public transport services - with New Zealand facing tight economic conditions not all proposed activities could be funded, and there would be smaller increases in funding for the maintenance, operation and renewal of state highways and local roads.

“There’s a limit to what even $9 billion can support, and we need to ensure that limited funding is carefully targeted to the areas and the activities where it is needed the most and where it will deliver the best outcomes to the greatest number of people. That’s the message we’ve been giving to councils, and that’s why we’re providing them with these indicative investment levels now – to ensure that they know how much funding will be available for investment in key areas so they can plan with certainty for the next three years.”

The indicative national investment levels which will be available over the next three financial years in five key ‘activity classes’ are outlined in the table below:

NLTP activity class Indicative 2012/15 NLTP investment

(increase from current 2009/12 NLTP allocation)
Public transport services $830 million

Maintenance & operation of local roads – routine maintenance (excluding emergency works) $600 million

Renewal of local roads – periodic maintenance (excluding preventative maintenance) $680 million

Maintenance & operation of state highways – routine maintenance (excluding emergency works) $829 million

Renewal of state highways – periodic maintenance (excluding preventative maintenance) $625 million



The NZTA has provided this information to 78 local authorities, along with more detailed information on the level of NLTP investment which will be available to them for local road maintenance, operation and renewals over the next three financial years.

Mr Dangerfield said the NZTA was giving early notice of investment levels in these five activity classes as these are the areas where local authorities most need certainty to develop their long term plans. Information on the indicative level of investment in nine further NLTP activity classes will be provided to local authorities later this month, with confirmed levels for all 14 activity classes to be announced in September.

Public transport services

Investment in public transport services will receive a substantial increase in the 2012/15 NLTP, with an indicative national investment of $830m – a 33.2% increase in funding compared with the current allocation for the 2009/12 period.

This record level of investment builds on the substantial increases in funding for public transport services over the past decade, and will help to improve the effectiveness of public transport and provide commuters and others with a range of good travel choices.

Investment will be targeted at improving peak time services which help to reduce severe congestion, with a particular focus on improving the reliability and punctuality of commuter rail services in Auckland and Wellington.   

Local roads and state highways

Despite tight economic conditions and funding constraints, the 2012/15 NLTP investment in maintaining and operating New Zealand’s roading networks – local roads and state highways – will be higher than it has ever been.

This record level of investment will help to ensure that New Zealand’s state highways and local roads deliver safe and reliable journeys.

The level of investment in each regional roading network is determined by assessing the current road conditions, safety performance and freight demand.

The overall standard of roads in New Zealand is generally high after ten years of sustained and significant investment.