Ministers have today announced the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) for 2018/19 – 2027/28, setting a new strategic direction for land transport in New Zealand, with increases in funding for public transport, walking and cycling, local roads and regional improvements.
The increased funding available nationally opens up a range of opportunities for local government to deliver safer and improved transport connections for their communities.
Given the nature of the GPS, the NZ Transport Agency and Local Government NZ have been working together to explore how best to help councils to take up these opportunities, and to develop a 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) that delivers on the priorities set out in the GPS.
To help councils take up the opportunities provided by the GPS, the Transport Agency has approved a new targeted enhanced funding assistance rate (FAR) for high and very high priority improvements, which will reduce local share requirements for these activities.
Councils should be aware, however, the Transport Agency has stipulated that access to enhanced FARs is conditional on councils redirecting their cost savings to bring forward additional transport activities during the next three years, and committing to delivering the agreed projects.
Representatives of our joint-agency local government Sector Reference Group, which has members from local government and the Transport Agency, are now working together to identify new projects that will achieve a high or very high results alignment assessment, and bring them forward for inclusion in the NLTP. The Sector Reference Group also is establishing national programmes in relation to:
The Transport Agency also is making its investment advisers and strategic planning leads available, at no cost to councils, to help councils look at these new co-investment opportunities. The Transport Agency will assist with resources and capability, where required, to help with council-led business cases, procurement and delivery.
The Transport Agency now has confirmed the final IAF after considering all feedback received on the draft released in April, along with the final changes to the GPS 2018. This has included updating the assessment criteria to ensure they reflect the key GPS priorities of safety and access.
As you are aware, RLTPs are required to be submitted to the Transport Agency by 30 June 2018 for all proposed activities to be considered for inclusion in the NLTP. The proposed 10-year programme of investment in land transport activities will be confirmed in the NLTP, which the Transport Agency will adopt by 31 August 2018.
It is important to note RLTPs and the NLTP can be varied during the three-year planning cycle if necessary. This means Regional Transport Committees can take up any new opportunities provided by the GPS that could not be put forward before 30 June, and allows significant projects to be put on hold until necessary public consultation has been completed.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact your Director Regional Relationships or another member of your local Transport Agency team.
NZ Transport Agency
Local Government NZ