To manage the future pressures and issues confronting the transport sector, the Ministry and the transport Crown entities have a shared sector objective and four long-term outcomes. These have been incorporated into a strategic outcomes framework. The framework sets out the outcomes that we believe are most important to New Zealand’s transport system. We aim to progress towards these long-term outcomes through effective delivery in our intermediate outcomes.
Long-term outcomes for the transport sector
The long-term outcomes describe the desired ‘future state’ of the New Zealand transport system. These strongly align with the Government’s objectives for the transport system and are expected to be achieved over the next 20 or more years.
Effective — moves people and freight where they need to go in a timely manner
The core function of our transport network is to connect New Zealand domestically and internationally. Transport links employees, employers and businesses together, and enables individuals to access services and make social connections. Transport also brings international tourists and is part of the supply chain that delivers goods to domestic and international markets.
Efficient — delivers the right infrastructure and services to the right level at the best cost
The benefits of transport investment include its contribution to the functioning of a successful, competitive economy and a connected society. However, as with all public spending, in transport there are inevitably trade-offs between costs and service quality.
Resilient — meets future transport needs and endures shocks
Transport infrastructure often has a life span of many decades, so investments we make today must accommodate future needs and uncertainties as well as current requirements.
Our transport network should deal well with shocks such as natural disasters, like earthquakes or extreme weather events, as well as dangers caused intentionally or unintentionally by people. It also needs to be adaptable to security requirements that may be imposed on us by other countries or international organisations.
Safe and responsible — reduces the harms from transport
Transport can have undesirable consequences, including road crashes, greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts (including on the built environment), and public health impacts (such as air quality, noise and heart disease).
Intermediate results and what we intend to achieve
The four long-term outcomes are supported by the Ministry’s intermediate outcomes. These provide a focus for our actions to improve the transport system over the next 5 to 10 years.
The Ministry has four intermediate outcomes that it will strive for to both deliver on the Government’s priorities and better position the transport system to meet New Zealand’s longer term needs; and achieve our ‘greatest imaginable challenge’, which is to ‘create the environment to double the value of transport initiatives’.
In confirming these new intermediate outcomes, the Ministry had regard to its role, a range of processes for scanning opportunities and challenges, and detailed analysis of a number of aspects of the system.
The four outcomes, are:
- improved management of the transport asset base
- higher returns from new transport investments
- more open and efficient markets
- fewer incidents and other harms.
The Ministry can adjust its level of focus on any aspect across the outcomes in response to changing Government priorities. We do this through the choices that we make on the work programmes that underpin the outcomes. We understand not everything can be a priority and that the Government, rightly, determines the Ministry’s priorities. The balance within our work programmes reflects Government priorities, as agreed with the Minister of Transport.
The link between our work programmes and our outcomes is complex. In practice, many of our policy work programmes contribute to more than one intermediate result. For example, the implementation of the Intelligent Transport Systems Technology Action Plan is expected to lead to improved management of the transport asset base and, at the same time, contribute to fewer incidents and harms (through improved safety and reduced environmental harms from the transport system).
Progress towards our long-term outcomes
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 general stability in levels of network congestion across our main centres since 2004. In 2015 all networks with the exception of Hamilton, showed a small increase in congestion levels. 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 has been adjusted using the construction price index. The graphs below show comparable spending power, not nominal revenue.
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, since 2002, were trending downwards until recently. As we continue with our Safer Journeys, alcohol interlock and safer speeds work, we expect to see the number of deaths on our roads decrease over the long-term.
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 and emissions on a per capita basis have decreased. Data for 2015 is not yet available. The Ministry will publish this information on its website when it is available in late 2016.
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.
To date, the Ministry has not had a long-term resilience measure. The new GPS 2015 Monitoring Report (prepared by the NZTA) will provide data on a range of indicators relating to the performance of the land transport system, including its resilience, and will enable the Ministry to establish a benchmark measure for the resilience of the roading network. More generally, the National Infrastructure Unit’s Evidence Base 2015 Refresh report for the transport sector 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.
3 National Infrastructure Unit, 2015, http://www.infrastructure.govt.nz/plan/evidencebase/2015-nip-evidence-transport.pdf(external link)