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Transport planning and infrastructure impacts the daily lives of all New Zealanders. It connects our cities, towns and rural communities locally, and provides access to services and vital freight pathways to support the economic prosperity and productivity of our regions and nation.

The critical challenges our transport network faces cannot be ignored. The collective impact of more frequent extreme weather events, climate adaptation, urgent maintenance needs, population growth and the need to collectively reduce our emissions has shown that the current approach to investment and planning is not working, nor fit for the future. We need an integrated multimodal system that gives New Zealanders options that work in their local context.

That’s why we’re calling for a rethink of the way we approach transport planning and investment. All councils (city, regional, district and unitary) play crucial roles in developing and maintaining transport infrastructure. They do this by working closely with their communities, delivering solutions based on local priorities and strengths. This approach, which is centred on localism, is essential to tackle these critical challenges and requires councils to be better supported with the right tools - including funding tools.
Localism requires a strong partnership between central and local government that delivers joined up investment and planning that puts local priorities front and centre while not losing sight of the bigger picture.

Through discussions and workshops with our members, we’ve identified the key issues that matter most to councils. This statement outlines local government’s priorities for the future and the outcomes that we want to work with the Government to achieve.

Key actions we want to progress:
1. A cross-party commitment to transport planning and investment that replaces the three-year cycle with agreed long-term goals and funding that prioritise resilience building.
2. Engage with the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi on the development of the GPS on land transport to advocate for investment decisions that align with regional and local needs.
3. An independent review of current transport funding arrangements in the next 12 months to determine appropriate levels of funding and revenue streams for Waka Kotahi, and how it will be prioritised to meet the existing and future challenges of rural and urban communities.
4. Targeted funding for adapting to and mitigating the effects of a changing climate on our transport network that can be delivered at the local level to increase the resilience of our roading networks and enable mode shift where practical.
5. Engaging with the incoming Government on transport to build understanding of the key issues for local government and agree to priorities for the term ahead.


Read our transport position statement

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