Keeping New Zealand moving – draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport
By: Michelle Mehlhopt, Jesse Aimer
Published: 31/03/2020 | Updated: 1/04/2020
The Government is seeking feedback on the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport for 2021/22 – 2030/31 (GPS 2021). 

The GPS 2021 aims to provide direction to those who are planning, assessing and making decisions on investment of the National Land Transport Fund (Fund) over the next 10 years.  The revenue for the Fund is projected to increase from around $4.4 billion in 2021/22 to $5.1 billion in 2030/31. 

The policy statement also provides guidance for a further $1 billion co-investment each year by local government. 

Strategic direction 

The GPS 2021 proposes to maintain the strategic direction contained in the GPS 2018, but with several key updates designed to align the GPS 2021 with recent Government policy work.  The key changes proposed include:
  • Updating the strategic priorities of ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Safety’ to reflect policy work that has taken place since GPS 2018 was published, such as the development of ‘Road to Zero’. 
  • Separating ‘Access’ into the ‘Better Travel Options’ and ‘Improving Freight Connections’ strategic priorities. 
  • Expressing ‘value for money’ as a principle that applies to all investments, rather than as a stand-alone strategic priority.

The GPS 2021 proposes four strategic priorities for land transport investment:
  • Safety – develop a transport system that advances New Zealand’s vision that no-one is killed or seriously injured while travelling.
  • Better travel options – improve people’s ability to get to places where they live, work and play and to make sure New Zealand’s major cities have transport networks that are fit for purpose and fit for the future.
  • Climate change – investment decisions that support the rapid transition to a low carbon transport system and contribute to a resilient transport sector that reduces harmful emissions.
  • Improving freight connections – well designed transport corridors with efficient, reliable and resilient connections that support productive economic activity.These strategic priorities build on the strategic policies set in the GPS 2018 and will guide investment to meet the outcomes identified in the Transport Outcomes Framework. 

Investment in land transport

The GPS 2021 proposes three key metrics for investments using the Fund:
  • Alignment – does investment align with the strategic direction of the GPS?
  • Effectiveness – to what extent does the proposal achieve the priorities of the GPS?
  • Efficiency – is this being achieved at the best cost for the results being delivered?

The Fund is proposed to be allocated between 11 activity classes.  The classes are a mixture of new and existing classes, and include:
  • Road to Zero (new).
  • Public transport services (new).
  • Public transport infrastructure (new).
  • Walking and cycling improvements.
  • Local road improvements.
  • State highway improvements.
  • State highway maintenance.
  • Local road maintenance.
  • Investment management.
  • Rail network (new).
  • Coastal shipping (new).

The purpose of the activity classes is to signal where investment funds will be used across the GPS, with the aim of achieving the results specified in GPS 2021.  For each activity class, a funding range is given an upper and lower limit for expenditure from the Fund. 

Have your say

Feedback on the GPS 2021 will close on 11 May 2020

Further details on the draft policy can be viewed on the Ministry of Transport’s website: https://www.transport.govt.nz/multi-modal/keystrategiesandplans/gpsonlandtransportfunding/gps-2021/

If you would like to discuss the draft GPS 2021, or would like assistance with providing feedback, please contact a member of our Resource Management and Environmental Law Team.
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