The government is committed to growing the economy to build a stronger, better New Zealand. Most New Zealanders want to live in a country where rates of employment are high and living standards are growing. This is not just about our levels of private consumption — it is about being able to afford first world standards of social infrastructure and services. Building a growing economy is central to all of this. As a trading nation that is far from most of its markets, we need to be aware of the international community with which we trade and build transport linkages that facilitate our involvement with the international community.

Transport has an obvious and important role in growing the New Zealand economy and the government’s overall goal for transport is:

“An effective, efficient, safe, secure, accessible and resilient transport system that supports the growth of our country’s economy in order to deliver greater prosperity, security and opportunities for all New Zealanders.”

Transport is not an end in itself but plays an important facilitating role in economic activity and social connectivity. New Zealand’s transport infrastructure is generally welldeveloped and mostly able to meet current demands. However, as in most countries, there are specific areas where economic and population growth are putting severe pressure on aspects of our transport infrastructure.

The role of transport provision in central, regional, and local government and the private sector varies across transport modes, localities and through time. The government sets the regulatory framework for the transport system (including participating in international transport fora), is the owner of key transport infrastructure (including State highways, KiwiRail and the majority shareholding in Air New Zealand) and is a funder of transport infrastructure and services (including subsidising transport infrastructure and services provided by local government). The government is focused on ensuring it fulfils its various roles in the transport system as efficiently as possible. This is so that informed decisions about the transport choices can be made and productivity can be lifted, therefore contributing to the overall success of growing the New Zealand economy.

The choices we make over the coming years, as we improve and refine the transport system, will need to occur within the backdrop of:

  • a significant growth in the level of freight movements (it is predicted that New Zealand’s freight movements will double over the next 20 years)
  • New Zealand’s distance from its major export and tourism partners, and its limited influence on the international maritime and air transport sectors
  • major demographic changes (an ageing population, smaller workforce, growth in Auckland’s population)
  • ongoing financial constraint (as a result of the global financial crisis, and New Zealand’s debt levels)
  • volatility in fuel prices and associated changes in demand for public transport services
  • substitution of alternative fuels, with potential impacts on tax revenues to fund transport infrastructure and services

The government’s long-term outcomes for transport

The government’s four long-term outcomes for transport are:

A: An efficient transport system that supports high levels of economic productivity, provides strong international connections for freight, business and tourism, and meets international obligations

A major priority is easing prominent traffic bottlenecks within and around New Zealand’s five largest metropolitan areas, and linking major sea and air ports more effectively into the State highway system.

Headline indicators of progress towards this outcome will be:

  • increasing productivity in the transport and storage sectors, measured in labour, capital and multi-factor terms
  • decreasing network congestion in the five largest metropolitan areas

B: A sustainable funding basis for transport infrastructure investments and use

Efficient funding is vital to the effectiveness of New Zealand’s transport system, and needs to align with the realities of how people travel and how goods are transported.

The headline indicator of progress towards this outcome will be:

  • growth in revenue (in real terms) remaining stable in relation to growth in traffic volume

C: A high-quality transport system for Auckland, the nation’s largest economic hub

Auckland is the ‘gateway’ to New Zealand for most visitors and for a significant proportion of international freight. It is vital for New Zealand’s economic growth potential that Auckland’s road congestion is managed effectively and wise decisions are made about transport infrastructure and services.

The headline indicator of progress towards this outcome will be:

  • stable or decreasing congestion in Auckland, measured by delay in minutes per kilometre travelled

D: An accessible and safe transport system that contributes positively to the nation’s economic, social and environmental welfare

People have greater mobility than in the past, through travelling further on New Zealand’s roads, using public transport in higher volumes (a 30 percent increase during the last decade), and flying more. Accessible and safe transport systems are fundamental to improving the quality of life for New Zealanders.

Headline indicators of progress towards this outcome will be:

  • reducing the number of deaths on roads per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled
  • decreasing amounts of CO2 emitted from domestic transport per kilometre travelled

    Headline measures of accessibility and social contribution are still being developed.

Strategic framework

The strategic frameword diagram (link below) shows how the Ministry’s work contributes to the government’s overall goals. The Ministry has seven key programmes that form its immediate priorities, and impact directly on the government’s four long-term outcomes for transport. The Ministry delivers on its key programmes and other work through its five output classes which are established in the Estimates and are shown in the diagram.

The main output classes are policy advice, and governance and performance advice and support. The Ministry has established performance measures for output classes and key programmes, and will be developing measures for the long-term outcomes in the 2011/12 year. These long-term outcomes will be based on the Ministry’s Transport Monitoring Indicator Framework.

Ministry of Transport's strategic framework (PDF, 74.3kb)

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