Government proposes $20 billion transport plan in draft policy statement

  • 04/03/2024
To accommodate the increased spending, Brown is proposing an increase to registration fees by $25 in January 2025, and a further $25 in January 2026.
To accommodate the increased spending, Brown is proposing an increase to registration fees by $25 in January 2025, and a further $25 in January 2026. Photo credit: Newshub

Transport Minister Simeon Brown released on Monday the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport.  

The GPS outlines investment of around $7 billion a year into transport over the next three years.

Brown said it "balances the need for investing in new projects, while ensuring our transport system is maintained to a high standard".  

New roads  

The GPS includes 15 projects under the Roads of National Significance programme.   

"All new roads of national significance will be four-laned, grade-separated highways," Brown said.  

"All funding, financing, and delivery options should be considered to deliver them in stages as quickly as possible."  

Legislation that would provide fast-track consenting approvals is already underway which the Government hopes will "provide immediate confidence to the construction sector to invest in capability and equipment needed to deliver projects".  


Meanwhile pothole maintenance will receive a big funding boost through the establishment of new activity classes.  

"These activity classes will direct between $3.1 billion and $4.8 billion to address potholes on State Highways and local roads," Brown said.  

Money within the local roads and state highways' maintenance funding would also be ring-fenced for a new 'Pothole Prevention Fund' of $500 million.  

Public Transport  

The GPS allocates up to $2.3 billion to public transport services and $2.1 billion for public transport infrastructure over the next three years, with Auckland and Wellington as the main targets.    

Funding for walking and cycling improvements has nearly halved from $1 billion under Labour to $510 million under the new plan.

Road Safety  

Brown has confirmed plans to stop "a blanket approach to speed limits".  

"Instead, there will be a focused approach on improving road safety by building safer infrastructure, investing in safer drivers, and requiring safer vehicles," he said.   

The NZTA will even increase speed limits to 110km/h on roads designed to handle those speeds.  

"We will take a balanced and targeted approach to speed limit settings, ensuring economic impacts - including travel times - and the views of road users and local communities are taken into account, alongside safety," Brown said.  

"The Government will introduce workable legislation to enable roadside drug testing," Brown added, alongside reviewing fines for traffic offences and the regulatory system that manages safety performance of the vehicle fleet.    

Registration fees  

To accommodate the increased spending, Brown is proposing an increase to registration fees by $25 in January 2025, and a further $25 in January 2026.  

The fees are currently $106.15 annually for petrol vehicles.   

"This will increase the annual cost of Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) in 2026 by $50 for most vehicles, $28 formMotorcycles, trailers and ATVs and $16.5 for mopeds," the draft GPS outlines.

In the post-Cabinet press conference, Brown called it a "one-off fee" drivers pay when they register their vehicle.  

"We will not be raising FED and RUC this term," Brown said.  

Fuel tax hikes  

Brown kept National's promise not to hike fuel taxes this term by moving the increase until the first year of the next term of Parliament. 

The GPS outlines the scrapping of Labour's proposed increase of 12 cents a litre which would have taken place gradually over the current term.  

Instead, fuel taxes will rise by 12 cents in one go at the start of the next term.  

Additionally, after the hike in January 2027, fuel taxes will increase by six cents a litre in 2028, and four cents a litre each year that follows.   

By the end of the next parliamentary term, the Government will have raised fuel taxes by 22 cents a litre.   

"We will also provide a Crown grant of $3.1 billion, a Crown loan of $3.1 billion, and a 12 cent, 6 cent, and annual ongoing 4 cent per litre increase in Fuel Excise Duty, and RUC equivalent, in January 2027, 2028, and 2029, respectively," Brown said.  

"I invite local government, the transport sector, community groups, and the wider public to have their say on the draft GPS. Projects and funding commitments will be confirmed through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) later this year."