Nation-building transport projects to grow NZ

Prime Minister Transport

The Chris Hipkins Government today announced a nation-building transport programme which will grow the economy and create jobs, help Kiwi households and businesses cut emissions, and help Kiwis get around our regions and cities faster and safer.

As part of this programme, the Government has identified 14 key strategic projects for Waka Kotahi to consider as it develops its next 10-year National Land Transport Plan.

“My focus as Prime Minister has been on making sure we are investing in the priorities of New Zealanders. To achieve our full potential as a country, we need fast progress on key transport infrastructure that will support our economic growth and improve productivity,” Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said. 

“The Government views these 14 new routes as critical nation building transport priorities for New Zealand over the coming decades.

The routes are:

  • Warkworth to Whangārei – State Highway 1; Te Hana to Brynderwyns, Warkworth to Wellsford and Whangārei to Brynderwyns
  • Auckland Northwest Rapid Transit
  • Auckland third and fourth rail line expansion
  • Avondale to Onehunga rail link
  • Level crossing upgrade and removal – Auckland and Wellington  
  • Cambridge to Piarere – State Highway 1
  • Tauranga to Tauriko – State Highway 29
  • Wellington CBD to Airport – second Mount Victoria Tunnel and upgrades to Basin Reserve/Arras Tunnel
  • Wellington CBD to Island Bay – Mass Rapid Transit
  • Napier to Hastings – four-laning State Highway 2
  • Nelson (Rocks Road) shared path – State Highway 6
  • Richmond – Hope Bypass – State Highway 6
  • Christchurch Northern Link – State Highway 1
  • Ashburton Bridge – State Highway 1

“These routes include a balanced mix of public transport and roads, which require work as a priority to reduce congestion, manage emissions, improve safety, grow the economy and open up areas for housing.

“These new priorities complement our existing investments in roads like Otaki to North of Levin, the Takitimu North Link and Melling under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, as well as faster, more reliable public transport through Auckland Light Rail, the Eastern Busway, and City Rail Link.

“They also complement the major programme of repairs and resilience upgrades that we have already funded for state highways across cyclone-affected areas like Tairāwhiti and the Hawke’s Bay which is being supported through the National Resilience Plan.

“Our comprehensive transport plan will strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and provide certainty to the construction industry that this Government will invest to close New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit. 

“The issuance of a draft Government Policy Statement on Transport is the standard process that sets out a Government’s forward spending priorities for land transport, so that local authorities and industry can plan ahead with certainty."

Transport Minister David Parker said GPS 2024 recognises that critical work on major existing and new roads cannot come at the expense of road maintenance, rail, public transport, walking and cycling pathways, or safety.

“A rapid public transport corridor from Auckland city centre to Brigham Creek in the city’s northwest is included in the Strategic Investment Programme as it would support emissions reduction in this growing area.

“Planning has already started to accelerate work on this corridor, which could include staging early delivery of stations from 2024 to 2027.

“In Wellington, we’re committed to kick-starting work on long-delayed transport solutions for the city including a second Mt. Victoria tunnel, upgrades to the Basin Reserve and Arras Tunnel, and mass rapid public transport. Local authorities agree that the Government should take the lead on projects on the state highway network and we want to see work accelerated across these city-shaping projects.

“Decisions on these major new public transport corridors in Wellington will be critical to the city’s future growth and development – however, we must also recognise that’s what’s right for public transport investment in our major cities can’t easily be replicated elsewhere. Much of New Zealand will continue to rely on resilient roading networks for the foreseeable future.

“From Auckland to Northland, a series of upgrades to State Highway 1 have been included as we believe these will strengthen links, save lives and provide greater network resilience to support a growing population, tourism and economic growth.

“In the Central North Island, we’ve included upgrades to the Waikato Expressway, key investments for State Highway 29 near Tauranga, and four-laning the State Highway 2 Expressway between Napier and Hastings.

“In the South Island, we’re signalling that improvements to State Highway 1 north of Christchurch to improve safety and support economic growth and freight access, is of strategic importance to our transport plans

“This includes the Christchurch Northern Link, by upgrading State Highway 1 from the Waimakariri River to Ashley River and a new alignment around Woodend, and improved links across the Hakatere/Ashburton River, which could include a new second river crossing.”

Further details on the 14 priority projects can be found at http://www.transport.govt.nz