Watch: Government unveils transport plan after feedback

Transport Minister Simeon Brown has unveiled the final Government Policy Statement on Land Transport, which covers the next 10 years.

A draft of the plan was released for consultation in March. It proposed to increase fuel taxes by 12 cents a litre in 2027 increasing to 22 cents in 2029, alongside increases to vehicle registration fees by $50 over two years.

This would help pay for new Roads of National Significance and the government’s $500 million pothole prevention fund, with $70 billion in spending through to 2034.

Questions remain over just how much those roads may cost. The government has repeatedly said it would aim to use alternative revenue options where possible, including public-private partnerships, and user-pays options like road tolling, equity finance schemes, and value capture.

Brown told reporters at Parliament he expected all the Roads of National Significance could be in line for tolling, to help deliver them.

“We’ve made it very clear, where we’ve recommended that they should be a toll road, we’ll toll them.

“I imagine we’ll be tolling every single one of them which is a recommendation, and I can’t see any of them not being recommended.”

The plan also makes good on the government’s promise to abolish Auckland’s Regional Fuel tax, with the tax no longer paid by fuel importers from next Monday, 1 July.

The government intends to support the introduction of congestion charging in various cities, but has not yet set a plan on how it will achieve this.

Brown said a lot of reports have been released on congestion charges, but no decision has been made and it needs to go through the appropriate policy process before anything is announced.

“I can’t give you a particular time indication at this stage.”

He said work was also under way on the additional Waitematā harbour crossing, but much more planning was required including around procurement and geological risk.

“It’s a commitment … there’s a huge amount of work that needs to be done, this GPS commits and says we’re going to continue with that work because it’s critically important to the future of Auckland.”

Consultation on the final GPS closed on 2 April, with the final plan expected to be in place by 1 July.

Since the draft was released, the government has also announced two further Roads of National Significance, along with a plan for a replace the New Zealand Upgrade Programme with “Roads of Regional Significance”.

When announcing those moves last month, Brown and Finance Minister Nicola Willis said they had been advised of a “significant funding gap of up to $1.5b” and they had agreed to delegate decisions to the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi to deliver “within the existing funding envelope, as there will be no additional Crown funding”.

The government also committed an extra $1b in this year’s Budget to top up the National Land Transport Fund.

Watch the livestream above or follow live updates below:

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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