Transport infrastructure upgrades to get NZ moving and prepared for the future

  • Hon Phil Twyford
  • $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in our six main growth areas - Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown.
  • $1.1 billion for rail.
  • $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland.

The Government’s programme of new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our cities moving, and make our roads safer.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford says these important projects will speed up travel times, ease congestion and make our roads safer by taking trucks off them and moving more freight to rail.

“The New Zealand Upgrade Programme reflects the Government’s balanced transport policy with $6.8 billion being invested across road, rail, public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure across New Zealand.

“This programme brings forward and funds significant projects, allowing them to be built sooner. The significant package is designed to give the construction industry certainty and confidence about future work.

“Many of these projects have been talked about for a long time, but we are the first Government to fund them. We have also made important changes.

“We must look to the future as we design this critical infrastructure. The projects have also been redesigned and future proofed to include provision for public transport and walking and cycling.

“We can do this and bring these projects forward because of our careful management of the Government’s books. It means New Zealanders can be assured they will be built as soon as possible.

“Our decision to fund these projects by taking advantage of historically low long-term interest rates means this Programme will free up funding in the National Land Transport Fund and Auckland transport budgets.”


“Our package of road investments will reduce congestion and travel times, support businesses and open up new areas for housing developments.

  • Upgrading SH1 Whangarei to Port Marsden to four lanes will improve freight connectivity and improve productivity in the North.
  • Penlink will open up more growth north of Auckland and connect Whangaparoa residents to the successful northern busway.
  • Upgrading Mill Road to four lanes and connecting Manukau to Drury will ease traffic on SH1 and connect growing parts of Auckland with job-rich centres. 
  • Widening SH1 from Papakura to Drury and building a cycleway alongside it, will get commuters to work faster.
  • Building a roundabout at the intersection of SH1/SH29 will improve safety at one of New Zealand’s most dangerous intersections. This is on the route that future proofs the extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to Piarere.
  • A four-lane Tauranga Northern Link and upgrades on SH2 to Omokoroa will improve safety on a dangerous stretch of highway and unlock more housing developments in our fastest growing city and important trading port.
  • Four-laning SH1 from Otaki to North of Levin will improve travel times and safety and boost the Horowhenua economy and its connection to Wellington and the region.
  • The second stage of SH58 safety improvements will make a key route in Greater Wellington safer and more reliable. Stage one started in late 2019.
  • The Melling interchange project will reduce the risk of flooding, help ease congestion during peak times, and the railway realignment will improve reliability and give more ‘park and ride’ options.
  • Our Christchurch package will speed up public transport in the high-growth south west of the city, improve safety in rural towns in the region and boost economic development with a more reliable route for freight to Lyttleton Port.  
  • Our Queenstown transport package will greatly improve public transport into the town centre on SH6A, ease congestion on SH6 and support continued tourism growth.


A package of targeted rail investments will get trucks off the road and improve passenger train services, particularly at busy travel times.

  • Completing the third main rail line will remove a key bottleneck for freight and passenger services, as well as provide additional capacity for the increased services once the City Rail Link is completed.
  • Electrifying the railway track between Papakura to Pukekohe will speed up trips to the CBD. The addition of two new platforms at Pukekohe station will allow additional lines for future growth. 
  • Two new railway stations in Drury Central and Drury West, along with ‘park and ride’ facilities, will give real choice to the families that move to this high growth part of Auckland.
  • Wellington rail upgrades, including in the Wairarapa, will make the lines north of the city more reliable and better able to meet growing demand.

Walking and cycling

Giving people safer options to walk and cycle in our cities means families have a healthy, congestion-free alternative to sitting in the car.

  • Aucklanders will finally get the ability to walk and cycle from the North Shore, with a shared path over the Harbour Bridge. Seapath will connect to the shared path over the Harbour Bridge and provide a fully separated, safe path for Aucklanders from Takapuna and Northcote to the city. It will also be a key tourist attraction.

Record investments in transport across New Zealand are already happening under this Government, including:

  • $100 million for the initial work on the $620 million Manawatū Gorge replacement highway.
  • $92.37 million for the Hamilton to Auckland commuter service which will start mid-year.
  • Budget 2019 provided a $1 billion funding boost to support a long overdue redevelopment of KiwiRail.
  • The $6.4 billion Let’s Get Wellington Moving package will help ease congestion in our capital city.
  • The $29 billion Auckland Transport Alignment Project will unlock Auckland’s potential.
  • $130 million for the upgrade of SH20B the Puhinui rail and bus interchange to allow a 10-minute bus connection to Auckland Airport.
  • $196 million Wellington commuter rail upgrades will mean better services and fewer breakdowns. 
  • $1.4 billion to upgrade 3,300kms of state highways and local roads with proven safety upgrades to save lives.
  • $240 million on the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) Eastern Busway improvements which will give a congestion-free public transport options for east Aucklanders.
  • $37.5 million Awakino Tunnel bypass project to improve safety on SH3.
  • $137 million Tairāwhiti Roading package from the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the region.
  • $18.4 million He Ara Kotahi pathway and bridge over the Manawatū River.
  • $80 million through the Provincial Growth Fund for the KiwiRail’s TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific trains to develop this successful tourism service further.