Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has today announced a $1.4 billion investment in the Bay of Plenty to deliver a safer, better connected and more resilient transport system capable of supporting significant regional growth.
The investment in the Bay of Plenty is part of a $24.3 billion programme of investment planned for New Zealand’s land transport system over the next three years, detailed in the 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), published today by Waka Kotahi.
The NLTP comprises $15.6 billion from the National Land Transport Fund, generated through fuel excise, road user charges and other revenue sources; $4.6 billion from local government, generated through rates and Auckland’s Regional Fuel Tax; and $3.8 billion in other Crown investments.
Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships for Waikato and Bay of Plenty, David Speirs, says the $1.4 billion investment planned for the Bay of Plenty over the next three years marks an increase of 111% from the previous 2018–21 NLTP.
“This investment in our transport system will help support the Bay of Plenty to better manage growth by making it easier to move around between cities and providing a more sustainable transport system. It will also deliver the best results for our transport dollar,” says Mr Speirs.
Bay of Plenty continues to experience substantial population growth. During this NLTP Waka Kotahi will continue working with local partners to implement regional growth plans, including a number of projects in the Western Bay of Plenty as part of the Urban Form + Transport Initiative.
“Supporting more environmentally-friendly and healthier travel options is also a focus of this NLTP. This involves co-investing with partners to deliver better connected cycling and walking routes and public transport networks that provide local people healthier, more environmentally friendly travel options.
“Improving people’s safety is a top priority for Waka Kotahi and $121 million will be spent on programmes and projects in Bay of Plenty that will reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the region’s roads. This will include continued work along 35.8kms of State Highway 2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa in the Western Bay of Plenty and a further 36kms between Wainui Road and Ōpōtiki in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.”
Mr Speirs says in a world experiencing the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, ensuring the reliable flow of goods to market is critical.
“This investment in the Bay of Plenty during the next three years will ensure crucial freight connections are well maintained to support our national and regional economies. This will include improving the safety and resilience of essential freight connections along State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Gisborne and State Highway 29 between the Waikato and Tauranga.
“Investment through the NLTP will contribute to a land transport system for the Bay of Plenty that will be safer and easier for people to use, recognising the popularity of the region as a place that people want to live and work, the pressure on land use, and the need to provide more safe travel options,” says Mr Speirs.
Full details of the investments being made through the National Land Transport Programme, including detailed regional breakdowns, can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/nltp