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 2014/15.

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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.

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 in recent years, with the exception of Hamilton, which had been increasing.

However, all of the main centres showed an increase in 2014. Recent Christchurch data is not available.

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.

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 the system delivers value for money, by providing the right level of infrastructure and services, while achieving the best cost.

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

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 revenue is rising against traffic volume for fuel excise duty and light RUC revenue. 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. VKT for light vehicles in 2014/15 is not currently available.

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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.

Headline indicator 1: Fewer road deaths

Figure 5 shows 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 over time.

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 2014 is not yet available. The Ministry will publish this information on its website when it is available in late 2015.

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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 our transport system can be resilient to expected and unexpected dangers. The system must be flexible, quickly responding to new events for example, security requirements imposed on us, or shocks in the form of natural disasters.

The National Infrastructure Unit published its Infrastructure Evidence Base 2015 Refresh report for the transport sector3 in March 2015. The report included an assessment of the resilience of transport infrastructure. The assessment takes a national level perspective, and indicated key areas for future attention were strategic freight routes, national roads with no reasonable alternate routes, rail and ports.

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3National Infrastructure Unit, 2015, http://www.infrastructure.govt.nz/plan/evidencebase/2015-nip-evidence-transport.pdf(external link)