Government's speed limit reduction proposal will still be considered despite policy reprioritisation, PM Chris Hipkins says

Speed limit changes will still be considered amid talks of the Government reprioritising some of its policies, Chris Hipkins says.

As part of the Government's road to zero campaign, the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi has proposed speed limit changes to more than 500kms of State Highways across the country.

Prime Minister Hipkins has signalled some Government projects will face the chop in a long-signalled re-focus on the cost of living pressures - some of which he's expected to announce later on Wednesday.

However, Hipkins said roads deemed too fast should still be changed promptly.

"This has been a long-term programme of work - not just under this Government," he told AM on Wednesday. "Speed limits on roads are regularly reviewed."

Hipkins said speed limit reviews were designed to accommodate safety concerns.

"We want fewer people being injured or fewer people dying on our roads. There are some roads where, if you drive at the speed limit, you can only do that if you're driving dangerously."

While changing speed limits wasn't up to the Government, Transport Minister Michael Wood told AM last week Labour had set it as an area of focus for Waka Kotahi. 

But Hipkins said speed limits weren't the only road safety aspects considered.

"If there are other ways to make a road safer, then we can do that," he added.

"We have under-invested in road safety as a country - let's be up-front about that and, as a result, we've got some roads that need some work in order to make them safe."

However, he did not rule out making changes to the speed limit proposal.

"It is an area where we're looking to make sure that the decisions being made are sensible and that we're getting the balance right between improving our roads, improving road safety," he said. "Speed limits are only one component of that and so, of course, we will have a look at that."

Hipkins' comments come after Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper last week said he had it on "good authority" the Government would ditch the speed limit proposal.