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The New Zealand Upgrade Programme will invest $6.8 billion to get our cities moving, save lives and boost productivity.

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme reflects the Government’s balanced transport policy with $6.8 billion being invested across road, rail, public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure. Our Government’s careful management of the books means that we have this opportunity to upgrade the transport infrastructure in our six main growth areas – Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown. The package provides for more frequent and better public transport and building safe, new walking and cycling paths. It also builds vital roads to speed up travel times and unlock housing developments, and invests in rail to make our roads safer by taking trucks off them. We’re giving families across New Zealand real choices in how they travel to work, home, education and play.

There is over $1 billion being spent on rail upgrades in Auckland and Wellington in this programme, bringing the total this Government has committed to revitalising rail to around $4 billion. We have to invest in our rail network to be able to cope with New Zealand’s growing freight volumes. Freight is expected to increase by 55 per cent by 2042. Freight carried by rail not only reduces wear and tear on our roads, it reduces carbon emissions by 66 per cent. Building alternative transport options for people and freight is a vital part of achieving the Government’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Safety is a big focus of these projects. Our new state highways will be built to a high standard to prevent deaths and serious injuries. The safety upgrades planned for existing roads will also play a big role in getting commuters home safely in the Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury. Investing in separated walking and cycling infrastructure will keep walkers and cyclists safe, as well as helping make our roads safer by reducing the numbers of cars on our roads.

The Programme recognises the importance of reliable freight routes to get goods to market, develop new business opportunities and support economic growth. Upgrades in Canterbury, Central North Island freight hubs and the Upper North Island will help boost productivity and give workers safer routes to move goods.

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme will be delivered over the next decade and provides the guaranteed, fully-funded pipeline of work that industry have been calling for. It will create 800 to 1,000 direct new jobs in our civil construction industry as the first five projects get underway in the next 12 months, and 7,000 to 9,000 direct opportunities for our wider supply chain. This will give the sector the certainty to invest in the workforce, upskill and train more apprentices. I’m proud that our Government’s new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our cities moving, and make our roads safer.

Hon Phil Twyford
Minister of Transport


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