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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

TRANSPORT GPS (Govt Policy Statement) Has been released by Minister Simeon Brown

All comments regarding Local Government are my personal views, and do not purport to represent the views of our Regional Council – of which I am an elected representative.

The previous Labour Government took at least four years to produce their draft GPS (and in 6 years they never finalised it). Minister Simeon Brown has produced the latest GPS in just 100 days. It is fantastic to get some certainty and a clear understanding of where this National Coalition Government is heading. Yes – some won’t like it, but there is a clear determination to get rid of the wasteful and (often) woke thinking of Labour and the Greens.

The vast majority of New Zealanders, whatever their age of lifestyle, will leave their homes most days, and almost all of them use the transport system when they do, whether it be a footpath, cycleway, bus, train, local road or State Highway. It means the $20bn GPG just released by Minister Brown is an intensely political document. 

The main job of the GPS, which is really a draft transport budget, sets out how much money the Government will take from road users and what programmes they intend to fund. Minister Brown’s plan would see between $4.8bn and $6.2bn spent each year (local government transport spending will add billions more). It’s not a lot compared to the likes of health and education, which is probably why these spending decisions are so bitterly contested.

Minister Brown has already indicated that that he will be very targeted in his transport spending and public transport is an example. He stated that when Labour came into power in 2017 the farebox recovery rate for PT was at 40%, and this fell under their watch to just 13%.

In my March Newsletter I identified that in the Bay of Plenty’s Urban Bus Services (ie Tauranga, Rotorua & Whakatane) the farebox recovery is currently just 6% ($2.28m) - with local ratepayers (100% targeted rate) paying 42% ($16.87m) and Central Government paying 49% ($19.94m). This is clearly not sustainable over the longer term.

The Western Bay of Plenty will do very well out of the announced 13 RONS (Roads of National Significance). This will not be funded out of NZTA’s Budget, but with separate Government funding. They have allocated $1.9 billion for State Highway 29 (over the Kaimai’s) and $627 million for the second stage of State Highway 2 (Te Puna to Omokoroa) in the next three years.

The big question facing NZTA will be their ability to deliver these programmes – on time and within budget.

Note: This is over $7bn a year for the next 3 years.


Note: National’s plan for 2024/25 is to spend $80m more than Labour planned for Transport.

 David Parker’s plan had 36% of land transport spending going on public transport, rail, walking, cycling etc. The Brown plan has that reduced to 28%, which is still quite generous. The big winner is state highway improvements up 37% and local road maintenance up 14%. 


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