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Government unveils draft transport plan with focus on roads and (eventually) user charges

Summarised by Centrist

Transport Minister Simeon Brown recently released the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, outlining the government’s priorities for transport investment over the next decade. 

Dr Mathew Birchall of the New Zealand Initiative says the plan emphasises the reinstatement of the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) program, with 15 new projects slated for construction, alongside a $500 million fund for pothole repairs. Additionally, the draft GPS, which replaced the previous government’s draft GPS from August 2023,  refocuses attention on core activity classes to ensure effective spending and productivity. 

It also aims to shift funding responsibility for public transport services towards users, reducing the burden on road users. Importantly, Minister Brown signals a move towards replacing fuel tax with an electronic road user charge system, which would consider factors like distance, vehicle type, and time of travel. 

While the transition from fuel tax is not expected to occur for several years, this shift aligns with recommendations for a more responsive road funding model. The success of these plans, however, will depend on effective execution in the coming years.

Read more over at The New Zealand Initiative

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