Investment in the land transport system delivers a range of outcomes and benefits for people, business and the economy. Some of these benefits are directly transport-related, others support wider government outcomes.

The 2021–24 NLTP supports government’s wider objectives for:

  • making our cities and towns, in particular growth areas, great places to live
  • addressing pressure on housing availability and affordability
  • supporting sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19

Making our cities and towns great places to live

For our cities and towns to support the wellbeing of people and the environment, we need them to:

  • be designed to encourage people to live, work and play in their community
  • support rapid bus and rail transit networks to enable compact urban growth
  • have high-quality, well-connected, safe, reliable and accessible public transport and walking and cycling networks, making it easy for people to move around without using their car.

The 2021–24 NTLP contributes to the Government’s goal of making our cities and towns greater places to live by enabling us and our partners to:

  • better manage growth in our main urban areas by changing use of our transport corridors
  • help shape travel options and compact urban form to manage demand in main urban areas
  • deliver on travel choice programmes and ensure investment supports development of new communities with sustainable travel options
  • invest in people making greater use of public transport, walking and cycling opportunities and using new ways to move about
  • make shared spaces safer and more attractive for people to use
  • invest in initiatives that result in the reallocation of road space for shared use by all the ways people want to move around.

Housing availability and affordability

The 2021–24 NLTP contributes to addressing pressures on housing availability and affordability by enabling us and our partners to:

  • work with Kāinga Ora as it plans for and builds houses and communities in priority development areas, which are currently Auckland and Porirua
  • increase housing supply and improve housing affordability and choice through sustainable development with central government, local government and mana whenua in our main urban areas
  • invest in road and rail infrastructure, public transport services and walking and cycling infrastructure to support the development of new communities with sustainable transport connections.

Economic recovery from COVID-19

COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we live, work, shop and travel. More people are now working from home and greater numbers continue to shop online, increasing the volume of goods being home delivered. The pandemic has changed travel patterns, which has had a positive impact on traffic congestion and the environment in our cities and towns.

It has also shown us that we can move around our cities and towns in different ways and that there are benefits when there are fewer vehicles on the road – less air and noise pollution, less congestion, and increased public health from more walking and cycling. We can continue to harness some of these benefits in the way that we plan and meet demand for transport into the future.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on regions that depend on tourism and/or migrant workers. Some regions continue to struggle with lower population and employment growth, significantly reduced tourism numbers and less travel demand, particularly on public transport. This has resulted in some regions struggling to fund their share of investment in the land transport system.

During this NLTP period, there is expected to be slower growth and reduced numbers of visitors. This three-year plan has been produced based on the expectation that Crown funding will be made available to help cover the costs of further COVID lockdowns and that there will be a return to forecast levels of demand in the medium-to-long term, which is the current economic forecast.

Through our delivery of government investment in both the NZ Upgrade Programme and Crown infrastructure package, we are supporting the regions through economic stimulus and jobs. Many of these projects are about developing corridors that also support growth, travel choice and well-connected sustainable ways to move around.