The draft New Zealand Rail Plan (the draft Rail Plan) outlines the Government’s long-term vision and priorities for New Zealand’s national rail network. It is an output of the recommendations of the Future of Rail review which is a cross-agency project led by the Ministry of Transport (the Ministry), working alongside KiwiRail, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and the Treasury. Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council were engaged in relation to their metropolitan rail networks. The Government has agreed to key recommendations from the review, incorporating them into the draft Rail Plan.
The Future of Rail review has sought to identify the role rail can play in New Zealand’s transport system and put in place a sustainable approach to funding rail over the longer-term. A key part of this is considering how to better integrate rail into the overall planning and funding approach for the land transport system, so rail is maintained alongside other transport modes.
Previous investment in New Zealand’s rail network has lacked a long-term view about rail’s role in the transport system, and has resulted in a continued focus on short-term investment decision making. We need a new approach to planning and funding rail that supports it to play its role in the transport system.
This draft Rail Plan is a product of the Future of Rail review. It will inform funding decisions in the next Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) and future Budget decisions.
In order to implement this new long-term planning and funding system, we are also making changes to the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (the LTMA). The draft Rail Plan outlines the changes being made to the LTMA.
This is a significant programme of change for the land transport system and will be implemented over the next two years, with the intention that it come into effect in line with the next National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).