Transport Minister Simeon Brown announces major change to speed limit rules

  • 12/12/2023

New Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced the Government is amending the speed limit rules, which will see blanket speed limit reductions become a thing of the past.  

It comes after National made an election promise during the campaign to reverse speed limit reductions on state highways and around neighbourhood streets at an estimated cost of $30 million. 

Brown announced the changes on Tuesday afternoon, saying speed limits have been reduced using a blanket approach across many parts of the country by the previous Labour Government's Land Transport Rule, ignoring economic impacts and the views of road users and local communities. 

"Our coalition Government wants to see a transport system that boosts productivity and economic growth and allows New Zealanders to get to where they want to go faster and safer," Brown said.  

"Changes made this week remove mandatory requirements for Road Controlling Authorities to implement speed management plans and remove deadlines for local Road Controlling Authorities to submit these plans by March 29, 2024." 

Brown said this will allow work to begin on a new rule to ensure that when speed limits are set, economic impacts, including travel times, and the views of road users and local communities are taken into account, alongside safety.  

Brown announced the new rule will also implement variable speed limits on roads approaching schools during pick-up and drop-off times, rather than permanent reductions, to keep "young New Zealanders safe when they are arriving at or leaving school".  

"I am writing to Road Controlling Authorities throughout the country to notify them of the changes and to advise them that work has begun on the new rule," Brown said.  

"This allows them to stop work on current speed management plans until the rule is put in place."