Govt driving towards zero deaths on roads

  • Hon Phil Twyford
  • Hon Julie Anne Genter

A further 2,430kms of New Zealand’s most dangerous state highways will be made safer as part of the Government’s $1.4 billion programme, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today.

Phil Twyford said the Government’s safety programme is already saving lives.

“The new barriers installed on SH3 have been hit around 40 times, potentially preventing at least that many deaths and serious injuries.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined both ministers at SH3 between Ohaupo and Te Awamutu, which is the site of one of seven completed projects in the Waikato as part of the Safe Network Programme.

“When we first announced the programme, 870km of state highways were included, and now that has been extended to 3,300kms of state highways over the next three years.

“Once fully rolled out across the country, it will help prevent 160 deaths and serious injuries each year.

“Our Government is spending more in total on local roads and state highways through the National Land Transport Programme than the last government,” Phil Twyford said.

Julie Anne Genter said the Government believes it is unacceptable for anyone to be killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades.

“We are taking a balanced approach to making our roads safer – investing significantly more in safety improvements, increasing safe driving messages and investigating lower speed limits only on the most dangerous roads in the country.

“Our Government is currently seeking feedback on a wider 10 year road safety plan that includes prioritising road policing and enforcement, a new focus on work-related safety and improving the safety of vehicles entering the fleet.

“This plan also proposes greater investment in proven safety upgrades like the ones being rolled out now, such as median barriers, roundabouts and safe cycling infrastructure,” Julie Anne Genter said.

Editor’s notes:

Attached - List of completed projects and those already underway or about to begin

The seven completed projects in the greater Waikato region are:

  1. SH3 Awakino to Mt Messenger (stage 1 safety and resilience works completed)
  2. SH1B Taupiri to Gordonton
  3. SH23 Waitetuna to Raglan (stage 1 completed)
  4. SH27/26/24
  5. SH3 Ohaupo to Te Awamutu
  6. SH3/SH37 to Te Kuiti
  7. SH1 Bombay to Hampton Downs (stage 1 completed)

For more information on these projects visit

More information about the Safe Network Programme can be found here:

Further state highway and local road projects are being investigated and will be considered for funding within the Safe Network Programme.

The Safe Network Programme is just one part of the Transport Agency’s safety programme. The Transport Agency continues to invest in a wide range of programmes that improves safety, including road safety maintenance, advertising and education, road policing, and public transport.

Safety improvements in Safe Network Programme include:

  • fixing dangerous corners
  • installing roadside and median safety barriers
  • shoulder widening
  • further safety improvements for high risk intersections
  • rumble strips
  • improving skid resistance
  • improving rail level crossing safety
  • setting safe and appropriate speed limits.