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Draft GPS and TAIP 2018 update


The draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport signals a new direction for land transport investment in New Zealand.

Draft Government Policy Statement on land transport for 2018–27 (GPS)(external link)

It presents the Transport Agency and you, our investment partners, with a range of opportunities that will support the social and economic development of your communities and enable people to get the most out of life.

The new draft GPS is about delivering a safe, easy-to-use land transport system that reduces the impacts on the environment and public health, while delivering value-for-money infrastructure and services that support your communities.

The draft GPS signals a transitional change in land transport investment. It supports a programme that invests a similar amount of funding in New Zealand’s land transport system as in the past, but with a stronger focus on safety and resilience, on both the state highway network and local roads.

Our team is here to support you to explore what may be possible for your city, district or region to take advantage of the new and increased funding. This may mean bringing forward some programmes of work, but more importantly, this is about thinking more broadly and exploring new ways to connect your communities and provide them with affordable travel choices, particularly in the areas of safety, resilience, public transport, walking and cycling.

We are committed to working together to transition to the new direction outlined in the draft GPS.

I recognise that finding additional local share to take up these new co-investment opportunities may present a number of challenges for councils. We are developing a range of options that may help councils achieve new outcomes, such as increasing the proportion of National Land Transport Fund share for some activities.

This letter outlines what the changes signalled by the draft GPS will mean for local government and the ways the Transport Agency is looking to provide support – as well as the opportunities to co-create our future transport system solutions together.


There is increased funding available nationally in most activity classes, particularly to support investment in public transport, state highway maintenance, walking and cycling, and regional improvements to provide better access to transport choices.

Safety and resilience is the strongest focus of the draft GPS, with opportunities in all classes to look at where initiatives can improve, in particular safety on both local roads and state highways, from improvements and upgrades to managing speed and level-crossing upgrades. Many of these initiatives will also have environmental outcomes.

GPS activity classThe opportunities
Public transport improvements

An overall increase in funding available nationally to support an expansion in public transport networks, particularly in high-growth urban areas to help achieve modal shift from single-occupancy vehicles.

There is an expectation that public transport will continue to support the transport-disadvantaged with mobility services and improved access to public transport.

Inter-regional rail initiatives have the potential to open new passenger services to provide connections for employment and education. Under this category, projects include a regional passenger service from Auckland to Hamilton.

Rapid transit A new activity class for bus and train services, initially in Auckland, 100% funded through the NLTF. This new class proposes to provide for light rail and bus rapid transit infrastructure, predominately in Auckland, with some investment in Wellington and Christchurch in the later stages of the draft GPS.
Transitional rail A new activity class to support urban and inter-regional rail services that assist passengers to access major employment and housing areas. It provides for 100% funding of rail infrastructure in large metro areas to maintain and increase levels of service for passenger rail. This class is transitional while the future funding of rail is investigated. Options here include the renewal of Wellington Metro Rail’s tracks and capacity improvements to cater for increasing demand, and implementation of the Auckland Transport Action Plan.
Local road maintenance An overall increase in funding for this activity class which supports expansion of the activity class to include footpath maintenance funding to improve walking and cycling facilities. In your Activity Management Plans, you have already set out your levels of service and planned investment in footpath maintenance. This plan will form the basis for funding from the National Land Transport Programme. We have already completed a high level sector review of the potential level of co-investment in footpath maintenance and have included a draft provision for this within the indicative allocation for the local roads maintenance activity class.
State highway maintenance Increased funding in this activity class recognises a lift in the renewals programme.
Road safety promotion and demand management Expansion of the activity class to include demand management activities, such as travel behaviour and travel demand management trials, to optimise the transport system.
Walking and cycling improvements Increased funding for walking and cycling proposals, maintaining the momentum of the Urban Cycleways Programme.
Regional improvements

Significant increase in funding for this activity class - opportunity to advance projects, particularly with safety and resilience outcomes.

PGF funding may provide further opportunity for investment in these improvement projects.


Local road improvements

Significant increase in funding available nationally for this activity class – opportunity to advance projects, particularly with safety and resilience outcomes.

PGF funding may provide further opportunity for investment in these improvement projects.

State highway improvements

The emphasis for this activity class shifts to projects that promote:

  • Safety
  • Access to economic and social activities
  • Resilient regional connections
  • Maintaining and operating state highways
  • Supporting Auckland’s growth
  • Supporting mode shift and travel demand management.

There is a decrease in funding in this activity class and less emphasis on state highway travel time savings.

Road policing programme Increased funding nationally for this activity class. A review is underway of the operating model and investment approach on the road policing programme to improve outcomes.
Investment management

The focus remains on developing programme business cases and improvement of activity management planning.

A new work category is transport planning to provide for land use planning. This recognises the role transport plays in connecting and supporting new housing developments and to provide sustainable growth in regions.

Other initiatives

The Transport Agency has responded to the changes in the draft GPS by reviewing its State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) to deliver on the Government’s new safety and resilience transport priorities. We’ve developed a draft Transport Agency Investment Proposal (TAIP), our programme of activities in the 2018–21 NLTP. It includes proposals for state highways, rapid transit, transitional rail, nationally-delivered programmes and road policing.

Transport Agency Investment Proposal (TAIP)

We’re also looking at a range of policy changes that will enable us to support you to make full use of the new opportunities. These include:

  • New enhanced and varied funding assistance rates to progress high-priority activities, such as walking, cycling and cycle safety programmes, thereby reducing local share.
  • Environmentally, we’re looking at extending until 2021 the 85% Fund Assistance Rate for streetlight replacement with LEDs to switch to this safer, cheaper and more efficient lighting, which saves energy and maintenance costs.
  • Farebox policy – with the current target of 50% farebox recovery achieved we are going to review this existing policy to explore new ways of supporting new public transport services.

Working together

I’m committed to working together to support you to finalise your Regional Land Transport Plans by 30 June, and also in the co-creation of solutions to provide New Zealand with a land transport system that helps people get the most out of life.

Our teams are available to work with you and support your teams to explore all the opportunities that exist within the draft GPS to deliver the Government’s new transport priorities.

Your local Director Regional Relationships will be in contact soon to discuss the opportunities and ensure we work together to make full use of the new and increased funding in the draft GPS. Where required, we will assist with resource and capability to help with council-led business cases, procurement and delivery. Together, we can achieve the best outcomes to meet the needs of your community and keep New Zealand moving.

Fergus Gammie
Chief Executive NZ Transport Agency