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$3.1 billion forecast total investment

In September 2021 a record $24.3 billion investment in Aotearoa’s land transport system was announced as part of Ngā Kaupapa Huarahi o Aotearoa | 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Activities funded through the NLTP aim to make New Zealand’s roads safer and more resilient, provide you with healthier, more environmentally friendly ways to move to the places that matter to you and keep freight flowing.

Our investment in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington during the 2021–24 NLTP is focused on getting more people using sustainable travel options to move around the region and improving the safety, reliability and resilience of the transport network.

Wellington already has the highest proportion of people who use public transport in the country with 30% of journeys made by public transport and walking or cycling. Regardless, Wellington is the fourth highest contributor to transport carbon emissions, so we need to enable a significant shift to the way people move about the region to reduce transport related carbon emissions.

Safety in Wellington continues to be a focus, with deaths and serious injuries having increased at a higher rate than population growth. People most at-risk are cyclists and pedestrians in the urban areas, and those travelling on high-risk motorcycle routes and high-risk rural roads.

The Wellington region is constrained geographically and is vulnerable to earthquakes severe storms, landslides and sea level rise. Noting this, it is critical we ensure people and goods have reliable and efficient access to key destinations in the region such as the Wellington port, ferry terminals, airport and hospitals.

During the next three years, we’ll look to strengthen the resilience of two main corridors, SH1 and SH2 to help protect this constrained access.

Wellington is also a vital gateway for freight and travel between the North and South Islands so we will also be working with our partners to ensure improve the resilience of this inter-island connection.

Growth has placed pressure on housing and rental affordability, resulting in more people relocating to regional towns in the Wairarapa and Horowhenua. As this growth continues, more people and increased economic activity will place even greater demand on the transport network. The rail network and part of the bus network are already nearing capacity during peak times, while congestion is resulting in poor journey time reliability.

Better travel options

Our investment during the next three years will support an integrated and well-designed land transport system to get people using different ways to move around for many of their journeys. This investment will help to reduce regional transport emissions and increase the number of people using alternative travel options to private vehicle.

In the next 10 years, we propose to spend $2.5 billion on public transport with our partners. This investment will improve the bus network and upgrade the rail network, introduce a new service to Wellington Airport, build improved park and ride facilities and integrate ticketing across the networks.

While initial investment in the rail network is through the Government’s NZ Upgrade Programme, ongoing investment will improve the capacity, reliability and resilience of regional and inter-regional rail journeys.

New walking and cycling infrastructure will also continue to be delivered across the region, including two sections of Te Ara Tupua, the long-awaited link between Wellington and the Hutt Valley – Ngā Ūranga to Pito-one and Pito-one to Melling[/mi}.

Other key walking and cycling projects in the region are the local government-led Tahitai (connecting Wellington CBD to the eastern suburbs), Northern Connection, Porirua to Titahi Bay, Eastern Bays and Riverlink projects. These will all make cycling and walking throughout the region safer. Within the Hutt Valley, work continues on the Urban Cycleways Programme with construction underway on the Beltway cycleway and further government funding for the Eastern Bays shared path that will link into the Remutaka Cycle Trail, the Great Harbour Way (Te Aranaui o Pōneke) and Te Ara Tupua. A further $26 million will be spent on Wellington City Council’s Cycleways to complete projects underway and business case development and pre-implementation to deliver the next phases.

In Porirua, $4 million will be invested in the first phases of providing shared paths that will better connect Kenepuru residential and business areas with Porirua’s city centre.

With further population increases, our focus is on:

  • shifting people to safe and sustainable transport options, including improved walking and cycling access, investment in mass transit, improving ferry access and access to the port
  • supporting improved rail capacity and resilience to enable more people to access social and economic opportunities and support economic prosperity
  • improving railway station access and support development of housing and businesses around public transport hubs, including opportunities identified through the Wellington Regional Growth Framework
  • working with Wellington councils to manage carparking in the city centre, city fringe area and other key centres to increase public transport patronage and walking and cycling for trips to these locations
  • identifying opportunities for smaller projects, including getting the most from the current network and trialling innovative solutions that can improve transport system outcomes, while more significant projects are planned and built.

Improving safety

Throughout the Wellington region, $102 million will be spent during the next three years to reduce annual deaths and serious injuries across the region by six.

The SH58 and SH2 Melling transport improvements will help improve safety on existing roads, especially at high-risk intersections and on high-risk urban and rural roads, while major projects, including Transmission Gully and Peka Peka to Ōtaki (PP2Ō), will improve safety through new infrastructure.

More than $28.4 million is being invested to improve the safety of 22.5kms of SH2 through the Remutaka Hill corridor, $15.6 million on 3.7kms of SH2 along the Hutt Valley corridor, and a further $22.6 million along 8.7kms of SH2 from Masterton to Carterton on both new infrastructure and speed reviews.

Further safety improvements through speed reviews and investigations into new infrastructure are being made on SH1 from Ōtaki to Levin and SH57 between Levin and Shannon. Further work is underway to ensure the old SH1 through Kāpiti Coast is safe and fit-for-purpose as a local road once PP2Ō is complete.

Improving freight connections

Major roading infrastructure projects such as the Transmission Gully motorway, Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway and safety improvements to SH58 will provide more resilient, reliable routes in and out of Wellington.

We’ll continue to investigate other resilient links that will support integrated urban development and housing and more reliable journeys through the development of the West–East access business case that will build on work undertaken on Petone to Grenada as well as exploring other mechanisms to improve West–East access and support urban development.

Ongoing work and investment into new ferries and a multi-user ferry precinct will improve access for freight and passengers and ensure a more efficient operation for freight delivery on either side of Cook Strait.

Under the Rail Network Investment Programme, resilience and safety for passenger and freight services will be improved through the replacement of two bridges north of Waikanae on the Main North Island Trunk line.

Across the region on the metro and regional lines and rail yards, 22kms of track will be re-sleepered and 24km of track re-railed, along with other track and civil infrastructure works to reduce derailment risks and improve formation and drainage.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving

This is a joint initiative to deliver a transport system capable of moving more people, goods and services using fewer vehicles. The $6.4 billion programme has a focus on mass rapid transit and reallocating road space to support better public transport services and new walking and cycling initiatives.

From Ngauranga Gorge to Wellington Airport, Let’s Get Wellington Moving will focus on Wellington’s urban motorway and connections to the central city, better access to Wellington Hospital and to the city’s eastern and southern suburbs.

During this NLTP period, the programme will continue its focus on the short-term ‘early delivery’ activities that include:

  • Central City Pedestrian safety improvements to make it safer, quicker and easier for pedestrians to cross
  • Cobham Drive crossing and speed review to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists to cross and connect with the Evans Bay cycleway
  • Golden Mile improvements making bus travel through the central city faster and more reliable, and improving safety for pedestrians along this corridor
  • Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road improvements that make this corridor safer and more attractive for bus users, pedestrians and cyclists
  • Travel behaviour change incentives and education initiatives to encourage people to travel outside of peak hours, reduce travel by single-occupancy private vehicles, and reduce the need to travel.

LGWM will also advance the City Streets package that includes public transport, walking, cycling, safety and amenity improvements to improve travel choices across the central city and multimodal connections to suburban centres.

The business cases for major projects such as mass rapid transit and strategic highway improvements will continue to be progressed, including community engagement.

Almost $94 million will be invested in developing the detailed business case through to implementation for mass rapid transit that will connect the railway station with the hospital, Newtown, Miramar and the Wellington Airport. Mass rapid transit will improve travel choice and help shape a compact, sustainable city.

A further $81 million will be provided for the detailed business case through to implementation phases for proposed investments in State Highway 1, including improvements to the Basin Reserve, and the construction of a second tunnel through Mt Victoria. Both projects will provide improvements for all transport modes, including pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

Investment highlights for 2021–24

  • $28.4 million is being invested to improve the safety of 22.5kms of SH2 through the Remutaka Hill corridor, $15.6 million on 3.7kms of SH2 along the Hutt Valley corridor, and a further $22.6 million along 8.7kms of SH2 from Masterton to Carterton on both new infrastructure and speed reviews
  • LGWM:
    • Central City Pedestrian safety improvements to make it safer, quicker and easier for pedestrians to cross
    • Cobham Drive crossing and speed review to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists to cross and connect with the Evans Bay cycleway
    • Golden Mile improvements making bus travel through the central city faster and more reliable, and improving safety for pedestrians along this corridor
    • Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road improvements that make this corridor safer and more attractive for bus users, pedestrians and cyclists
  • Detailed business case through to implementation for the development of mass rapid transit and State Highway 1 improvements, including to the Basin Reserve, and construction of a second tunnel through Mt Victoria.
  • $3.8m is being invested in travel demand management at Wellington Hospital for a public transport pilot initiative to help safer and more efficient travel to the hospital
  • $43 million to investigate and implement access improvements and support better travel options in the Hutt Valley and Porirua’s Eastern regeneration and Kenepuru areas.

Summary of achievements from 2018–21

  • Completion of the $7m northern and central sections of Lower Hutt’s Beltway cycleway, from Waterloo Station to the Hutt River, at Taita; and the $14.8m Te Hikoi Arawera separated pathway between Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata, in partnership with Hutt City Council.
  • Work was completed on the $6.8m Hutt Road cycling improvements, including Kaiwharawhara Bridge and the Cobham Drive section of the Tahitai pathway; and work is now underway on the $10m Oriental Parade to Evans Bay section of the Tahitai cycle path. These projects are being delivered in partnership with Wellington City Council.
  • Completed a significant programme of maintenance work on SH2 through the Wairarapa, including on the Remutaka Hill to improve safety.
  • Good progress was made on the $1.25 billion Transmission Gully motorway which is expected to open to traffic late 2021, and the $405 million Peka Peka to Ōtaki (PP2Ō) section of the Kāpiti Expressway which is expected to open to traffic in late 2022.

Read about a few of the ways that previous investment has delivered for Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington communities and New Zealand.