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Where are the toll roads?

There are three toll roads in New Zealand:

View a map of toll roads

How much is the toll?     

Toll prices vary by road and depend on the type of vehicle you are driving.

See the full list of prices

How long do I have to pay my toll?   

We ask you to pay your toll within five working days of travelling on a toll road.

If you don’t pay in this time, you may be sent a toll payment notice for each unpaid toll. There is an administration fee of $4.90 per notice issued. Avoid the extra charge by paying your toll before or immediately after using a toll road.

Find out more about ways to pay. Or, better still, open an account.(external link)

How is the toll collected?

The toll is collected through an electronic tolling system. This system uses cameras and sensors with optical character recognition technology to capture an image of a vehicle’s registration plate and assign the correct toll price, based on the size of the vehicle. Internationally, the trend of toll roads is to move to electronic collection.

View the 3D tolling animation to see how electronic tolling works(external link)

What if I don’t want to pay a toll?

There are free alternatives routes available if you choose not to travel on a toll road. There are signs letting you know the alternative routes. Look for signs with this symbol (Free route pic)

View the alternative routes

If you inadvertently travel on a toll road you are required to pay the toll.

I have received a toll payment notice but I wasn’t driving, what do I do?

If a vehicle registered to you travels on a toll road and payment isn’t received within five working days, you may receive a toll payment notice from us. If you weren’t the driver of the vehicle, you are able to transfer liability to the driver by completing a Statutory Declaration form [PDF, 131 KB].

The minimum information we need for the new driver is their full name and postal address. If this information is not included we will be unable to process your form.

You can return this form to us at tollroad@nzta.govt.nz or to the postal address below:

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency - Tolling
Private Bag 11777
Palmerston North 4442

Please note, we must receive this form within 28 days of the issue date stated on your toll payment notice.

I have received a Toll Payment Notice but my vehicle did not travel on a toll road. What should I do?

Please contact us with the registration plate number and reference number on your notice so we can look into this for you.

What happens if I sell my vehicle or buy a new one?

Pay & Go tolls

Pre-purchased tolls will not transfer from your old to your new vehicle. If you have pre-paid tolls you can get a refund of these tolls here(external link).

Account

If you have a toll account, you need to update your registration plate details immediately. These will not update automatically. Log into your account(external link) to update the listed vehicles.

If you buy or sell a vehicle, you must also ensure you’ve updated the registered person details(external link) in the Motor Vehicle Register.

How much was the toll increased, on 1 March 2019?

The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Board approved the consumer price-indexed increases in toll tariffs on the three toll roads – Northern Gateway Toll Road, Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and Takitimu Drive Toll Road - on 1 March 2019 as below:

Toll Road

Light vehicle (car/motorcycle)

Heavy vehicle (Bus/truck)

 

Tariff prior to 1 March 2019

Tariff from 1 March 2019

Tariff prior to 1 March 2019

Tariff from 1 March 2019

Northern Gateway Toll Road

$2.30

$2.40

$4.70

$4.80

Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road

$2.00

$2.10

$5.00

$5.20

Takitimu Drive Toll Road

$1.80

$1.90

$4.80

$5.00

How many times have the tolls been increased since the three roads were opened?

Since the opening date, the tolls have been increased 3 times for Northern Gateway, once for Tauranga Eastern Link and once for Takitimu Drive.  The table below shows the dates of increases and the corresponding toll tariffs:

Date

Northern Gateway

Tauranga Eastern Link

Takitimu Drive

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

Jan-09

$2.00

$4.00

 

 

 

 

Mar-12

$2.20

$4.40

 

 

 

 

Aug-15

$2.30

$4.70

$2.00

$5.00

$1.80

$4.80

Mar-19

$2.40

$4.80

$2.10

$5.20

$1.90

$5.00

Takitimu Drive: Waka Kotahi took over the road on 30 June 2015 and it became a State Highway two months later. Was there a change in toll price?

Yes, there was a reduction in the toll tariffs from $2.00 to $1.80 (light vehicles/cars) and $5.00 to $4.80 (heavy vehicles/bus) when Waka Kotahi took over the Route K (and renamed Takitimu Drive) as part of the State Highway networks. Below is the summary of the toll tariffs:

Takitimu Drive

Prior to becoming SH

From 1 August 2015

From 1 March 2019

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

$2.00

$1.80

$1.90

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

$5.00

$4.80

$5.00

What is the rationale for the toll increase?

The toll increase is necessary to keep up with inflation and ensure the tolling of the roads remains on track to repay debt as planned. The increase in March 2019 were the first for Tauranga Eastern Link and Takitimu Drive since they opened in August 2015 and the third increase for Northern Gateway since it opened in January 2009.

When the Government approved the tolling arrangements, a key assumption was that the toll price would be increased by inflation to pay off the associated loan. There were also assumptions made about the number of vehicles that would use the toll road. Tolling the road from inception at the level required to repay the debt and interest would have significantly reduced the volume of traffic on the road, further increasing the toll rate necessary to repay the debt. It would have effectively meant there would be very little traffic on a new road.

What is the legal basis of a toll increase?

An Order In Council, the legal document covering a specific toll road, allows for the tolls to be annually adjusted in line with increases in the Consumer Price Index. To date, Waka Kotahi has increased the tolls about every three years instead of annually, which has reduced the number of increases customers have been exposed to, and reduced the costs involved in having a toll increase, such as signage changes etc.

What does a toll tariff pay for?

A toll fee pays part of three separate components:

  1. Goods and Service Tax (GST);
  2. Toll revenue – the amount designed for debt payment (principal and interest) in the case of Northern Gateway and Tauranga Eastern Link toll roads. In the case of Takitimu Drive, the amount designated is to recoup the $65m paid to Tauranga City Council plus opportunity costs;
  3. Toll operating revenue – the amount retained by Waka Kotahi to operate the toll business.  This pays for the personnel costs, transaction charges (i.e. bank charges), depreciation, information technology support, maintenance and upgrades and other operating costs.

What is the breakdown of the current toll tariff?

Breakdown

Northern Gateway

Tauranga Eastern Link

Takitimu Drive

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

Light Vehicle (Car/Motorcycle)

Heavy Vehicle (Bus/truck)

Toll Revenue

$1.39

$3.47

$1.13

$3.82

$0.95

$3.65

Toll Operating Revenue

$0.70

$0.70

$0.70

$0.70

$0.70

$0.70

GST

$0.31

$0.63

$0.27

$0.68

$0.25

$0.65

Toll Tariff

$2.40

$4.80

$2.10

$5.20

$1.90

$5.00

How many cars, motorbikes and heavy vehicles have travelled on the Auckland Northern Gateway, Tauranga Eastern Link and Tauranga Takitimu Drive each year since opening?

Northern Gateway

Financial Year

Total number of light vehicles

Total number of heavy vehicles

Total

2008/09

1,793,476

150,610

1,944,086

2009/10

4,536,212

381,688

4,917,900

2010/11

4,726,063

390,070

5,116,133

2011/12

4,802,165

383,617

5,185,782

2012/13

4,989,792

395,434

5,385,226

2013/14

5,315,724

424,960

5,740,684

2014/15

5,614,922

442,556

6,057,478

2015/16

6,156,480

472,759

6,629,239

2016/17

6,526,596

514,170

7,040,766

2017/18

6,825,404

563,290

7,388,694

2018/19

6,944,115

574,520

7,518,635

2019/20

6,228,256

540,516

6,768,772

Tauranga Eastern Link

Financial Year

Total number of light vehicles

Total number of heavy vehicles

Total

2015/16

2,273,059

354,044

2,627,103

2016/17

2,950,382

420,492

3,370,874

2017/18

3,271,597

481,900

3,753,497

2018/19

3,462,965

512,611

3,975,576

2019/20

3,258,203

454,190

3,712,393

Takitimu Drive

Financial Year

Total number of light vehicles

Total number of heavy vehicles

Total

2015/16

2,054,469

456,817

2,511,286

2016/17

2,789,914

587,769

3,377,683

2017/18

3,202,873

657,540

3,860,413

2018/19

3,660,663

704,119

4,364,782

2019/20

3,484,751

664,004

4,148,755

What was the final construction cost for each of the following roads: Northern Gateway, Tauranga Eastern Link and Tauranga Takitimu Drive?

Total construction costs were funded from the National Land Transport Fund and supplemented by the use of debt facility from the Crown.

 

Construction Costs ($'M)

NLTF Funding ($'M)

Debt Component ($'M)

Northern Gateway

$375.7

$217.7

$158.0

Tauranga Eastern Link

$456.2

$349.2

$107.0

Takitimu Drive

Takitimu Drive toll road was constructed by the Tauranga City Council in 2003 for a cost of $44.7 million. It was purchased by Waka Kotahi in 2015 for $65 million.

Do taxpayers pay for toll roads?

The total construction costs were funded from the National Land Transport Fund and supplemented by the use of debt.

For example, in the case of the Northern Gateway Toll Road, to advance the project and pay for the $375.7 million construction costs, the National Land Transport Fund funding of $217.7 million was supplemented by use of a $158 million debt facility from the Crown.

The National Land Transport Fund is a fully ring-fenced transport fund made up of fuel excise duty, road user charges, a portion of the annual vehicle licensing fee and income from the sale and lease of state highway property.

All revenue collected from transport users is dedicated to investment in land transport. 

The toll revenue collected is for the repayment of the debt and related interest costs, as well as the operating costs of the tolling systems. The toll applied to the toll road will be removed once the associated debt is repaid.

How much in total revenue has already been collected on the three toll roads since they opened?

The following table provides the total cash revenue collected:

Northern Gateway Toll Road ($'000 and excluding GST)

Financial Year

Toll Revenue *

Toll Operating Revenue

Total

Amount designated to repay the debt (principal and interest)

(Amount retained by the NZTA to operate toll business)

2008/09

$2,312

$1,180

$3,492

2009/10

$6,060

$3,085

$9,145

2010/11

$6,150

$3,216

$9,366

2011/12

$6,415

$3,371

$9,786

2012/13

$7,115

$3,664

$10,779

2013/14

$7,648

$3,928

$11,576

2014/15

$8,056

$4,135

$12,191

2015/16

$9,108

$4,482

$13,590

2016/17

$10,030

$4,804

$14,834

2017/18

$10,541

$5,025

$15,566

2018/19

$10,914

$5,108

$16,022

2019/20

$10,224

$4,595

$14,819

Total

$94,573

$46,593

$141,166

Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road ($'000 and excluding GST)

Financial Year

Toll Revenue *

Toll Operating Revenue

Total

Amount designated to repay the debt (principal and interest)

(Amount retained by the NZTA to operate toll business)

2015/16

$3,507

$1,743

$5,250

2016/17

$4,494

$2,288

$6,782

2017/18

$5,043

$2,546

$7,589

2018/19

$5,463

$2,693

$8,156

2019/20

$5,252

$2,508

$7,760

Total

$23,759

$11,778

$35,537

Takitimu Drive Toll Road ($'000 and excluding GST)

Financial Year

Toll Revenue *

Toll Operating Revenue

Total

(Amount designated to recoup the investment)

(Amount retained by the NZTA to operate toll business)

2015/16

$3,267

$1,687

$4,954

2016/17

$4,394

$2,317

$6,711

2017/18

$4,996

$2,647

$7,643

2018/19

$5,680

$2,987

$8,667

2019/20

$5,651

$2,842

$8,493

Total

$23,988

$12,480

$36,468

*  including interest earned

   

Where is the money collected from the toll revenues being spent?

The toll revenue collected is for the repayment of the debt and related interest costs.

The toll operating revenues pay for the personnel costs, transaction charges (i.e. bank charges), depreciation, information technology support, maintenance and upgrades and other operating costs.

Other than financing the cost of construction, what else have the toll road payments been used on?

The toll revenue collected is for the repayment of the debt and related interest costs, as well as for operating costs of the tolling systems. It does not fund the ongoing maintenance and operational costs of the road itself, which are funded from the National Land Transport Fund under the State Highways Maintenance activity class.

How much has been spent on the toll roads since they opened?

Waka Kotahi does not record maintenance costs specific to the toll roads and maintenance contracts are network-wide rather than specifically road-based.  The toll revenue collected does not fund the maintenance and operational costs of the roads themselves. These are funded from the National Land Transport Fund under the State Highways Maintenance activity class.

How much debt is left to pay on each of the three toll roads as of 30 June 2020?

The following table provides the information:   

 

Debt Balance as at 30 June 2020

Northern Gateway

$221.2 million

Tauranga Eastern Link

$107.0 million

Takitimu Drive

Takitimu Drive was purchased outright from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) in 2015. The $65 million purchase price is not, therefore, accounted for as a ‘debt’.

The NLTF exists to invest in the land transport system to maintain or improve levels of service. The $65 million payment, being a financial transaction only, does not itself provide transport benefits. Accordingly, the Transport Agency Board determined that $65 million, plus its opportunity costs, would be recovered from tolls on the road to be invested to generate transport benefits over time.

This means that the effective value of the $65 million is being recovered via tolls to make sure that is available to the fund to provide transport benefits.

What is the estimated date for each project to be fully paid off and the toll removed?

The following table provides the information.  Note: The modelling results are based on the pre-Covid-19 situation.

 

Estimated year debt fully paid

Northern Gateway

by 2045

Tauranga Eastern Link

by 2044

Takitimu Drive

The transaction cost of $65 million plus opportunity costs is estimated to be recovered by 2041