This section provides information on the transport sector’s four long-term outcomes for transport, and the actions the Ministry has taken towards these outcomes in 2013/14.

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Long-term outcome: Effective – moves people and freight where they need to go in a timely manner

The core function of the transport system is to connect New Zealand, domestically and internationally. Transport links employees, employers, and businesses together, and enables people to access services and make social connections. Transport is a critical part of the supply chain that delivers goods to domestic and international markets, and meets the travel needs of international tourists.

Ministry actions over 2013/14 that contributed to this outcome included:

  • providing advice on Auckland’s transport needs
  • continuing to develop the Freight Information Gathering System, freight scenarios and updating the National Freight Demand Study.
  • providing advice on the proposed Clifford Bay ferry terminal
  • removing barriers to entry to international markets through air services liberalisation.

Headline indicator 1: Decreasing network congestion in the five largest metropolitan areas

Figure 1 shows a general decrease in network congestion across our main centres, with the exception of a small increase in Hamilton. We expect that recently completed and further planned roading projects will continue the overall trend towards decreased congestion.

Graph showing general decrease in network congestion across our main centres.

Figure 1 - A.M. peak congestion - minutes delay per kilometre

Headline indicator 2: Increased freight movements

Figure 2 shows the continued improvement in the performance of our ports in handling freight movements. Our ports are loading and discharging more containers, more quickly.

Graph showing continued improvement in our ports handling freight

Figure 2 - New Zealand trends in container handling

Long-term outcome: Efficient – delivers the right infrastructure and services to the right level at the right cost

Better transport infrastructure and services can lower costs and increase accessibility for people and businesses by expanding markets and improving access to suppliers. Good management of the transport regulatory settings supports the functioning of the transport system, ensuring that the system delivers value for money by providing the right level of infrastructure and services, while achieving the best cost.

Ministry actions over 2013/14 that contributed to this outcome included:

  • reviewing driver licensing and vehicle licensing to reduce the cost to users while ensuring overall safety
  • developing an Intelligent Transport Systems action plan to ensure we are prepared for, and take advantage of, new technologies available
  • co-ordinating an ongoing review of the transport regulatory system
  • carrying out a review of the transport sector funding programme
  • developing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport for 2015/16-2024/25
  • developing a strategic view of the future needs of the transport sector through the future demand project
  • commissioning a review on the road construction industry to better understand cost pressures
  • developing a hub for research in the transport sector
  • co-leading the development of a Domain Plan for the transport sector.

Headline indicator 1: Growth in revenue (in real terms) remaining stable in relation to growth in trafficvolume

Figures 3 and 4 show the real revenue levels from fuel excise duty and road user charges (RUC), compared to vehicle kilometres travelled. Current trends show that revenue is rising against traffic volume. This is following a government decision to allow increases of three cents per litre on 1 July 2013, 2014 and 2015 to fund construction of lead infrastructure. The Ministry is continuing to monitor revenue and traffic levels.

Revenue is adjusted using the construction price index. The graphs below show comparable spending power, not nominal revenue.

Graph showing real revenue levels from fuel excise duty

Figure 3 - Growth in fuel excise and light/medium RUC revenue (2013/14 $) relative to traffic growth

Graph showing real revenue levels from fuel excise duty

Figure 4 - Growth in heavy RUC revenue (2013/14 $) relative to traffic growth

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Long-term outcome: Safe and responsible – reduces the harms from transport

It is our aim to achieve a safe and responsible transport system. The operation of the transport system gives rise to social costs, including road crashes, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental and public health impacts. It is important to ensure that these issues are mitigated in cost-effective ways.

Ministry actions over 2013/14 that contributed to this outcome included:

  • working to deliver the Safer Journeys action plan with the NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police and other partners. This includes projects on speed management, improving the vehicle fleet, reducing the risk of overseas drivers on New Zealand roads, ensuring that blood alcohol limits reflect risk, and promoting the safe system approach
  • developing options for reducing the risk of drug and alcohol impairment in the aviation, maritime and rail sectors.

Headline indicator 1: Fewer road deaths

Figure 5 shows that road deaths in New Zealand are still trending downwards. As we continue with our Safer Journeys work we expect to see the number of deaths on our roads continue to decrease.

Graph showing road deaths in NZ are still trending downwards

Figure 5 - Road deaths per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled

Headline indicator 2: Reducing levels of greenhouse gases emitted by the transport sector

Road transport accounts for 90 percent of New Zealand transport greenhouse gas emissions. Figure 6 shows that between 1990 and 2006 road transport carbon emissions increased by over 60 percent. Since 2006, the rate of increase has stabilised.

Data for 2013 is not yet available. The Ministry will publish this information on its website when it is available in late 2014.

Graph showing rate of increase of carbon emissions has stabilised

Figure 6 - Carbon emissions from road transport 1990-2012 (tonnes 000)

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Long-term outcome: Resilient – meets future needs and endures shocks

Investment in transport infrastructure is a long-term activity, and all new investment must not only address current needs, but also future needs. We must have confidence that our transport system can be resilient to expected and unexpected dangers. The system must be flexible in order to quickly respond to new events, for example, security requirements imposed on us, or shocks in the form of natural disasters.

Ministry actions over 2013/14 that contributed to this outcome included:

  • working with the transport sector to develop an understanding of what resilience means for transport, and to enable this understanding to be used by the transport sector
  • resilience is now proposed as a national land transport objective in the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2015/16-2024/25
  • developing management plans to reduce the risk of oil pollution in New Zealand waters
  • working with partners to ensure that the transport system is prepared for emergencies and disruption is minimised.

Development of performance measures for long-term outcomes

The Ministry is working with the transport Crown entities to develop a set of performance measures that effectively display the performance of the New Zealand transport system against these long-term outcomes.

This links closely with the Transport Domain Plan, a project that is jointly led by the Ministry and Statistics New Zealand. We are working closely with our Crown entity partners, as well as a range of other departments to identify the actions that need to be taken now to ensure that information and statistics collected about the transport system are high quality and allow government to make evidence based policy, strategy and decisions into the future.

We will do this by taking a holistic, multi-modal view of the transport system in New Zealand, understanding the ‘big picture’ policy and strategy questions that will be asked of the transport system into the future, and by assessing what information will be required to answer those questions. We will then consider what improvements are needed to ensure that transport-related information is relevant, high quality and accessible.

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