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$289 million transport investment for Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has today announced $289 million of investment for Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman to strengthen, make safe and plan the future development of the region’s transport system over the next three years.

The investment across the Top of the South 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.

Ngā Kaupapa Huarahi o Aotearoa | 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP)

“Our investment in Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman through the NLTP will help create a land transport system that gives people better access to employment and education opportunities, supports the safe and reliable movement of freight and strengthens the resilience of important corridors to keep communities connected,” says Emma Speight, Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships.

“The significant proportion of the investment across the Top of the South – more than $212 million - will be spent on maintaining the local road and state highway network, with a further $31 million on improvements,” says Ms Speight.

During the next three years the focus would be on working with regional partners to plan the development of the land transport system to support anticipated population growth and the regions’ economies to thrive. This would include progressing the Nelson Future Access Project, Richmond Programme Business Case and Blenheim Integrated Transport Strategy.

Work will also continue with KiwiRail, Port Marlborough and the Marlborough District Council to support the Waitohi Picton Transport Network planning and Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment project. This will ensure the transport system was able to accommodate increased traffic volumes from the two larger ferries which will begin sailing Cook Strait from 2024.

“In a world experiencing the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, ensuring there is a reliable flow of goods to market is critical. Our investment through this NLTP period will help ensure road and rail connections throughout the Top of the South are well maintained to support the regional economy. This includes resilience works on the Main North Rail Line.”

Investment through the NLTP will contribute to a land transport system for Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman that will be safer and easier for people to use, supports the region’s economy and keeps communities connected.

Safety is a priority for Waka Kotahi and Ms Speight says that $22 million will be invested during the next three years to help save lives across Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough.

This includes upgrades to Motueka’s High Street (SH60) and on State Highway 6 between Blenheim to Nelson.

Full details of the investments being made through the National Land Transport Programme, including detailed regional breakdowns, can be found at

Editors’ notes:

  • The 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) is a partnership between local government, which invests local funding on behalf of ratepayers, and Waka Kotahi, which invests national funding on behalf of Government through the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF). Funds for the NLTF are collected from petrol excise, road user charges and vehicle registration and licensing fees.
  • The $24.3 billion 2021–24 NLTP includes $15.6 billion from the NLTF and $4.6 billion from local government. Government will also invest $3.8 billion in additional Crown funding to deliver specific programmes through the NLTP.
  • NLTP investments are designed to give effect to the strategic priorities outlined in the Government Policy Statement for land transport (GPS).
  • Demand for funding for the 2021–24 NLTP period has been higher than ever before and the Government has provided additional financing of $2 billion that will enable Waka Kotahi to deliver more for New Zealand with its co-investment partners.