Current state of New Zealand’s transport system revealed

  • Tim Macindoe

Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe has launched the first product of the Transport Outlook project, the Transport Outlook: Current State report. The Transport Outlook project aims to provide information, data, and analysis on New Zealand’s current and future transport system.

“Understanding transport demand and emerging trends in our transport system is crucial to ensure that we can provide the right information for the general public and transport planners, investors, and policy-makers,” Mr Macindoe says.

“The report combines information from all transport modes for the first time. It provides invaluable information on what is currently happening in the New Zealand transport sector and analysis of what it means.”

Information included in the report ranges from public transport patronage in the main urban centres, freight volumes through ports, passenger numbers through airports, transport deaths and injuries, composition of the vehicle fleet, through to the use of different travel modes for work, education, and personal business.

Some of the key statistics highlighted in the report include:

  • More than 36,000 aircraft arrived in New Zealand in 2016, just over double the number in 1998
  • Over the last ten years our exports have increased by 74% in volume
  • New Zealanders spend on average just under one hour a day travelling
  • Two car households are now more common than single car households
  • In 2000/2001 there were 86 million public transport boardings by June 2016 this had increased to 148 million boardings
  • The use of ferries to cross the Cook Strait has increased 95 per cent since 2000/2001
  • About 38 million passengers used our airports in 2016
  • Our vehicle fleet has grown 44% since 2000
  • Train patronage in Auckland has grown by 67% in five years
  • Queenstown is our fastest growing airport in percentage terms
  • Only one third of young people have a driver licence, compared with nearly half in 1989
  • Only 3 per cent of 5-12 years olds use cycling as a mode of transport
  • Between 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 cruise ship passenger numbers increased by 26% to reach a total of 254,409
  • There were 138 cruise ship voyages, spending a combined 703 days stationed at a port in 2015/2016
  • The largest container vessels coming in to New Zealand ports at the end of 2016 had double the capacity of the largest vessel arriving earlier the same year.

“Later this year the report will be published which will project transport demand over the next 25 years.  It will examine future regional travel patterns, including the impact of new and emerging technologies,” Mr Macindoe says. 

‘Transport underpins our economy and society. The information provided through the Transport Outlook project will enable us to make informed decisions about transport services and infrastructure.  We will be better placed to respond to our growing population and economy and increasing tourist numbers.”

More information on the Transport Outlook project, including the full report and underlying data, can be found here.