Govt keeps projects on road to completion

  • Hon Phil Twyford

Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today transport projects currently in construction will continue at pace due to extra Government support for transport projects to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

To keep the $16.9 billion 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme going the Government has allocated funding from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund in light of the effect of the pandemic on the transport budget. It has:                                    

  • made $425 million borrowing available to Waka Kotahi to fill the gap for 2019/20, to be repaid over the following 7 years,
  • provided a $600 million top-up from the CRRF to the National Land Transport Fund to cover the impact of reduced revenue and COVID-related expenditure,
  • and indicated that up to $300 million additional borrowing could be made available to Waka Kotahi if required for further support.

Phil Twyford said without this support, approved projects would have been deferred or cancelled.

“Waka Kotahi will have the funding needed to keep building infrastructure despite lower revenue being collected from petrol excise duty and road user charges due to COVID.

“This means we will continue to roll out our road maintenance programme, complete projects like the Waikato Expressway, and get new projects like the Manawatū Gorge replacement highway underway.

“This supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by creating jobs through tackling our infrastructure deficit.

“The pandemic has hammered the transport system and we’ve worked hard to keep it moving given how vital it is to the economy and communities.

“Our Government has met the increased costs of public transport until the end of the year since councils are struggling to pay their share. We are investing around $210 million to make sure that buses and trains will keep running to reduce emissions and congestion in our cities.

“We’re also supporting our aviation system through our $600 million aviation relief package to keep freight flowing, support businesses and maintain essential connectivity,” Phil Twyford said.

The National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) is a hypothecated fund, made up of the revenue collected from fuel excise duty, road user charges, and motor vehicle registration and licensing fees. All revenue collected by the NLTF is spent on transport services and infrastructure. The Ministry of Transport forecasts NLTF revenue as part of the Government’s Economic and Fiscal Updates. A revised forecast will be released as part of the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update 2020.

The National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) is a three-year programme that sets out how the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, working with its partners, invests national land transport funding to create a safer, more accessible, better connected and more resilient transport system to keep New Zealand moving.