A more resilient climate-friendly transport network

Energy and Resources Transport
  • Major expansion of nationwide EV charging network to deliver 23 charging hubs with the private sector
  • Investment in public charging at community facilities for all towns with 2,000 or more people
  • Investment package to build resilience in the roading network with significant upgrades for slip prevention, flood mitigation, and managing risk of sea level rise around the country.
  • Approximately 100 low cost resilience projects to start development immediately.
  • Transport Resilience Fund established to help develop and fund Council-led resilience upgrades on local roads

The Chris Hipkins Government is boosting investment in New Zealand’s transport network to make it both more resilient to weather events, and climate friendly.

EV charging network to be established

Budget 2023 is accelerating the uptake of low-emissions vehicles by growing the number of public EV chargers across the country.

“We’re making sure there are more locations for people to ‘tank up’ their EVs, with a nationwide network of public electric vehicle charging hubs, with multiple fast electric vehicle chargers,” Megan Woods said.

“We’ll also ensure rural and regional communities have more options to charge up EVs so a lack of chargers is no longer seen as a barrier to electric vehicle adoption as we decarbonise our energy system.

“Emissions from our light vehicle fleet are the single largest source of transport emissions in New Zealand, partially due to having some of the most fuel inefficient and emissions intensive vehicles in the OECD,” Michael Wood said.

“This costs Kiwis at the pump and is damaging to our health and the environment. Switching to EVs would be like buying petrol for 40c/litre, which will make a big difference for household budgets.

“We’re partnering with the private sector to build thousands of new EV chargers across the country. This will expand the growing national network of EV charging hubs – each containing up to 20 chargers – to up to 23 hubs.

“This will see charging hubs every 150–200 kilometres on main highways, a public charger for every 20-40 EVs in urban areas, and public charging at community facilities for all settlements with 2,000 or more people,” Michael Wood said.

Budget 2023 funding for the EV network expansion is $120 million over four years.

Getting wheels turning faster on low-emission heavy vehicles like trucks and buses

“We’re also announcing a fund to provide grants towards the purchase of low emissions heavy vehicles, including trucks, heavy vans and non-public transport buses.

“Estimates show this will help get about 500 low emission heavy vehicles on to New Zealand’s roads, displacing fossil fuel ones. This transition could reduce operators’ fuel costs by up to 75 percent,” Megan Woods said.

$30 million over three years has been set aside for clean heavy vehicle grants.

“The fund builds on the success of the Clean Car Discount and Low Emissions Transport Fund to support road freight operators to lower their emissions, and over time their operating costs,” Michael Wood said.

Major investments to make roads more resilient

“The severe weather events of this year have highlighted how crucial it is to invest in early preventative works to protect our transport network,” Michael Wood said.

“We need to ensure that communities will stay connected as we see severe weather events become more common and damaging. These roads are lifelines for communities, particularly rural ones.

“A strong, resilient network will give certainty that emergency vehicles can get where they need to go as quickly as possible, goods and services can move in and out of regions, and people can stay connected with friends and family.

“A $279 million investment package for State Highways will focus on slip prevention, flood mitigation, and managing risk of sea level rise. Waka Kotahi have worked with local communities to identify the highest risk areas.

This includes work on projects like slope stabilisation at various SH1 locations in Northland such as Long Hill, Saunders Road and Kaiwaka, flood mitigation on the Auckland motorway network, and managing the risk of coastal inundation on SH6 at the top of the South Island.

“It also provides funding for 100 resilience projects including culverts, slip stabilisation, drainage improvements, rockfall protection and bridge erosion protection on state highways which can start development immediately,” Michael Wood said.

Some of these projects include:

  • Northland – Addressing high priority land instability and subsidence issues including State Highway 1 Longhill and State Highway 12 north of Waipoua Forest.
  • Auckland – Upgrades to pumping stations in Mt Wellington and Pukekohe to help prevent the motorways from flooding.
  • Bay of Plenty – Rockfall protection at Ruahihi Bluff on State Highway 29.
  • Waikato – Constructing a retaining wall to prevent the risk of a slip and improve drainage at State Highway 1 Bulli Point.
  • Taranaki – Addressing coastal flooding issues for State Highway 3 including Tongaporutu Estuary and the Monhakatino Bridge.
  • Wellington – Rockfall protection on State Highway 59.
  • Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough – Providing upgrades for route security including State Highway 6 Whangamoa and Rai Saddle and Dashwood on State Highway 1.
  • Canterbury – Debris clearing in water channels on State Highway 79 and 1 to better manage water flows.
  • West Coast – Addressing landslip, drainage and river erosion issues including high priority coastal erosion and coastal flooding sites along State Highway 6 and improvements at Meybille Bay (SH6) and the Candys Bend on SH73.
  • Otago and Southland – Addressing flooding issues such as on State Highway 1 Kakanui Straight and the growing coastal flooding risk at Ocean View, north of Bluff, securing access for the township and the Port.

Finally, in addition to the State Highways package above, the Government is also creating the Transport Resilience Fund, which will support local councils to develop and fund resilience upgrades on local roads. The fund will provide $20 million in support to projects each year.

This initiative recognises the need to work closely with local councils and communities to develop resilience projects and solutions that work for them.

“This investment package is another step in the Government’s work to build back our transport network better, stronger, and more resilient,” Michael Wood said.