Poor transport planning holding New Zealand back

A new report suggests New Zealand’s potential prosperity is being held back by the National Government’s poor transport planning, the Green Party said.

The report shows the amount of driving New Zealanders do relative to GDP is amongst the worst in the OECD group of countries.

"If you feel like you spend too much time stuck in traffic and economically you’re not really going anywhere, you’re right,” Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“The OECD report shows that, in New Zealand, people and goods have to travel an average of 335km on roads to generate US$1000 of economic output. In Norway, by comparison, people and goods travel just 175 km on average to generate US$1000.

“The National Government is completely out of touch with how to plan a transport system that lowers road traffic intensity and moves people and freight efficiently from A to B.

“We’re well above the OECD average road traffic intensity figure of 294km per USD$1000 and only four countries are worse than us: the USA, Slovenia, Estonia, and Korea.

“The National Government is happy to throw billions at a few low value motorway projects with low cost-benefit ratios while vital rail infrastructure that could substantially benefit our transport network is left to rust.

“Kiwirail knows how to run the trains efficiently, but the Government must invest in the tracks and bridges, on the same basis that it maintains the roads for trucks and cars.

“We need to look at rail and roads as complementary parts of a transport network that benefits the whole country.

“The Government should be investing in the transport infrastructure that will get our cities moving, like the City Rail Link, and allowing Kiwirail infrastructure to be funded from the National Land Transport Fund,” said Ms Genter.