31 August 2018
The Road Transport Forum, New Zealand’s peak body for the trucking industry, considers the Government’s 2018 – 2021
National Land Transport Programme as a missed opportunity.
“While we welcome the expansion of the overall investment in the transport system, unfortunately the Programme fails to
progress a number of critical projects and is in many ways a continuation of the politicisation of the National Land
Transport Fund by this Government,” says RTF Chief Executive Ken Shirley.
“Road user taxes – fuel excise, Road User Charges and vehicle registrations – are being diverted to pet political
projects of dubious economic merit, while crucial roading projects are postponed indefinitely. This kind of
cross-subsidisation will lead to economic distortions across the transport market.”
“The road transport industry is concerned that major highway projects such as an East-West Link alternative, Tauranga to
Katikati and Otaki to Levin are not going ahead. These projects are important for the free flow of freight around the
country and would significantly improve the safety of key routes.”
“On the bright side, it is good to see projects such as the Mt Messenger Bypass and the Manawatu Gorge replacement route
receive the necessary funding.”
The Government’s increased focus on road safety is welcomed and the road transport industry will continue to support
modal separation, median barriers and the development of other infrastructure to help improve the overall safety of our
“It’s just a shame that the Government has had a bob each way on safety because one of the biggest contributions to
safety comes through the development of new highways that are designed specifically to separate traffic and provide safe
connectivity between communities.”
“It is particularly disappointing that the Tauranga to Katikati motorway has not progressed. The road is experiencing
ever-increasing traffic volumes and is extremely dangerous. While the Government has earmarked some safety improvements
the only real solution is a four-lane motorway with appropriately controlled access points and separation of opposing
traffic,” says Shirley.