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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 2016/17.

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
Congestion is tending to improve across our main centres. Our measure has changed this year, as the previous data set is no longer being collected. Information is now collected across the three major metropolitan areas – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, using a different methodology. Figure 1 shows the new measure – this reports average travel speed at the morning peak.

Figure 1 – AM peak average travel speed – kilometres per hour 

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.

Figure 2 – New Zealand trends in container handling per hour

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.

Figures 3 & 4

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 that while the long-term road toll is trending down, there has been an increase in the number of road
deaths in recent years. Trends in road fatalities globally (including Australia) are similar to those observed here. The
Ministry has an ongoing focus on improving road safety in New Zealand through our work with road safety partners on
Safer Journeys, alcohol interlocks and safer speeds.

Figure 5 - Road deaths per 100 million 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 transport greenhouse gas emissions have been stable for seven years, however they increased in 2015. Data for 2016 is not yet available. The Ministry will publish this information on its website when it is available.

Figure 6 – Carbon emissions from road transport 1990-2015 (tonnes 000)

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.

There is no system-wide measure or set of indicators to demonstrate the resilience of the transport sector. The National Infrastructure Unit at the Treasury most recently published information on the resilience of the transport sector in 2015. We are working with the sector on a range of resilience projects, including, as referenced on page 13, a Strategic Resilience project. The intent of this work is to answer the question “how do we deliver an adaptive integrated transport system that is resilient for the future?” We anticipate that this work will contribute to the development of delivery options towards the long-term outcome of a resilient transport system.

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