The draft Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS), released last month, mentions build back better. Waka Kotahi is considering what this means for us and the industry as we prepare for the 2024-27 NLTP.
In the context of the GPS strategic priorities we see this as seeking to improve value for money by co-ordinating the delivery of activities. This will support the other GPS priorities like safety and resilience, and reduce vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT reduction).
Critical thinking and strategic planning will help us achieve this. It is about optimising both maintenance and renewals expenditure with available improvements funding, making the right decisions at the right time.
Build back better activities will be managed through existing activity classes, and work categories at the normal funding assistance rates (FARs). These activities will be managed primarily as ‘associated improvements’ within the low cost low-risk (LCLR) programme allocation available for all activity classes.
There may be examples where associated improvements might exceed $2M per activity (the LCLR funding threshold). These can be funded through a standard improvement phase, potentially linked to another associated activity as appropriate. Our current TIO process will allow for this.
Finally we are currently updating our Planning and Investment Knowledge Base (PIKB), including work category content. This will include updating key work categories content related to the ‘like for like’ criteria and how this links to funding for improvements.