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Submission - Draft Government Policy Statement for Land Transport 2024-34

04 Apr 2024


CCNZ made a submission on the Draft Government Policy Statement for Land Transport 2024-34.

In summary, the submission supports:

  • The simplified strategic objectives under GPS 2024-34, which are tied back to clear outcomes and expectations.
  • The continued increase in construction and maintenance funding to overcome decades of underinvestment.
  • Increased focus on preventative road maintenance.
  • Increased focus and funding for road renewals.
  • Consistency in the programme of works, which will enable contractors to retain and build capability and capacity.
  • The focus on increased value for money as opposed to lowest cost.
  • Consistent investment in rail, which will build capability and capacity amongst NZ’s rail construction and maintenance contractors.
  • The alignment of the GPS Land Transport with the second Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). The first ERP does not directly acknowledge or provide for horizontal construction.
  • Inclusion of regional development alongside urban development
  • The focus on incorporating safety into improved network condition, which will in turn improve road safety.

However, it does not support:

  • The terminology ‘State Highway Pothole Prevention’ (p25) and ‘Local Road Pothole Prevention’ (p26). When road renewals are properly funded and appropriate surfacing is maintained, the work should have very little to do with potholes. For clarity’s sake, these activities should instead be classed as ‘State Highway renewal and rehabilitation’ and ‘local road renewal and rehabilitation’.
  • Some mention of ‘removal of speed bumps’ under State Highway activity classes. This is a local roading activity, and speed bumps on state highways would be very uncommon, so the reference to speed bumps on p25 does not seem appropriate.
  • The structure of the current funding system. While it’s understandable that short-term ‘top-ups’ may be necessary in some circumstances, we would like to see a more enduring funding system that supports construction and maintenance activities.
  • The huge variance between the upper and lower limits in the budget. While some allowance must be made for cost escalation given the recent economic situation and natural disasters, variances of upwards of $800m between the upper and lower limits in some activity classes are concerning, especially if this represents work conducted by contractors that could be ‘switched off’. The variances are particularly significant in the early years of the programme, at a time when immediate economic stimulus is needed to support our currently underutilised contractor base.
  • A lack of programmed investment in the South Island. Of the 34 major projects identified, only seven are in the South Island.
  • A lack of recognition of the role of people in constructing and maintaining the network. There is potential for workforce intake programmes and targeted international recruitment to support people to enter the workforce and increase capacity.


Accordingly, the submission requests:

  • A broader discussion of other funding tools, for instance private funding or at the very least, incorporation of congestion or other user pays charges into the National Land Transport Fund to overcome the shortfall.
  • Increased buffering of the work programme to ensure continuity.
  • Consideration of more standardised design catalogues. Not every project needs bespoke design. More standardised designs will result in considerable cost savings.
  • Revision of activity class titles to more accurately reflect their application (for instance ‘State Highway renewal and remediation’.
  • Consideration of targeted training and workforce intake programmes.
  • A stimulus package centered around road renewals to retain capability and capacity in the roading construction workforce as it awaits some Roads of National Significance projects to pass through the planning and consenting processes.
  • A more coherent programme of essential resilience works and upgrades to better protect transport networks from severe weather events.
  • A contractor voice on the Roading Efficiency Group.
  • A road safety programme focussed on driver education rather than on speed restrictions alone.

Read the full submission>>

 

 

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