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The New Zealand Transport Agency takes a wide view of the transport system. It is a complex, dynamic system of people, businesses, infrastructure, vehicles of all types, data and processes - and they are all increasingly connected.
The transport system also includes statutory, regulatory and policy tools that can limit or unlock the potential of the system for customers. When taking a whole of a system view, we're thinking about all of these things.

While the transport system is broad and complex, so is its role. New Zealand’s transport system is a key enabler of journeys. It connects people doing business, provides access to our communities and ensures that we get our goods to international markets, thus helping New Zealand to thrive.

The transport system is a key enabler of economic growth and social cohesion and is vital to create a competitive, high productivity, high wage and sustainable economy. Investing in the transport system returns significant benefits to New Zealanders.

From connecting our children and young people with schools, sport and recreational events, to transporting products from our primary industries to our export connections, the transport system meets a vast variety of needs for an equally diverse variety of customers.

Transport networks and modes are a critical component of the wider transport system. We need multiple modes of transport to meet the different needs of our customers and to provide them with choices in movement of people, goods or services.

Each mode has a role to play in the transport system.

The road transport network is critical to connecting communities, enabling the movement of goods and facilitating journeys to work, school and recreation. It also allows tourists to get around the country easily and safely.

An efficient and effective public transport network is a key element of an integrated transport system. In the major urban centres, public transport plays a critical role in moving people, particularly large numbers of people during peak periods. It enhances network efficiency as it reduces the numbers of vehicles on congested urban corridors.

Walking and cycling for shorter journeys also helps to enhance the effectiveness of the transport system by increasing the capacity of the transport network and by providing transport choice.

Rail and coastal shipping are particularly well suited to the movement of freight over long distances both to and from major ports and between production centres and ports. Approximately 30 percent of New Zealand’s exports travel to port by rail.

For New Zealand to prosper, strong links between road, rail, shipping and aviation are vital. Each mode has its role to play in the transport system and our customers expect all parts of the transport sector to work together to support a top performing economy and to ensure their quality of life. Maintaining and improving the transport system is therefore vital to New Zealand’s social and economic future.