The coalition government has announced a new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals unveiling the $12 billion infrastructure package.

The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local communities,”  Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

The package includes $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in six main growth areas – Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown, $1.1 billion for rail, $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland.

 Transport Minister Phil Twyford said these important projects will speed up travel times, ease congestion and make our roads safer by taking trucks off them and moving more freight to rail.

Roads

“Our package of road investments will reduce congestion and travel times, support businesses and open up new areas for housing developments," Mr Twyford said. 

·         Upgrading SH1 Whangarei to Port Marsden to four lanes will improve freight connectivity and improve productivity in the North.

·         Penlink will open up more growth north of Auckland and connect Whangaparoa residents to the successful northern busway.

·         Upgrading Mill Road to four lanes and connecting Manukau to Drury will ease traffic on SH1 and connect growing parts of Auckland with job-rich centres. 

·         Widening SH1 from Papakura to Drury and building a cycleway alongside it, will get commuters to work faster.

·         Building a roundabout at the intersection of SH1/SH29 will improve safety at one of New Zealand’s most dangerous intersections. This is on the route that future proofs the extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to Piarere.

·         A four-lane Tauranga Northern Link and upgrades on SH2 to Omokoroa will improve safety on a dangerous stretch of highway and unlock more housing developments in our fastest growing city and important trading port.

·         Four-laning SH1 from Otaki to North of Levin will improve travel times and safety and boost the Horowhenua economy and its connection to Wellington and the region.

·         The second stage of SH58 safety improvements will make a key route in Greater Wellington safer and more reliable. Stage one started in late 2019.

·         The Melling interchange project will reduce the risk of flooding, help ease congestion during peak times, and the railway realignment will improve reliability and give more ‘park and ride’ options.

·         Our Christchurch package will speed up public transport in the high-growth south-west of the city, improve safety in rural towns in the region and boost economic development with a more reliable route for freight to Lyttleton Port. 

·         Our Queenstown transport package will greatly improve public transport into the town centre on SH6A, ease congestion on SH6 and support continued tourism growth.

Rail

·         Completing the third main rail line will remove a key bottleneck for freight and passenger services, as well as provide additional capacity for the increased services once the City Rail Link is completed.

·         Electrifying the railway track between Papakura to Pukekohe will speed up trips to the CBD. The addition of two new platforms at Pukekohe station will allow additional lines for future growth. 

·         Two new railway stations in Drury Central and Drury West, along with ‘park and ride’ facilities, will give real choice to the families that move to this high growth part of Auckland.

·         Wellington rail upgrades, including in the Wairarapa, will make the lines north of the city more reliable and better able to meet growing demand.

Walking and cycling

Giving people safer options to walk and cycle in our cities means families have a healthy, congestion-free alternative to sitting in the car.

·         Aucklanders will finally get the ability to walk and cycle from the North Shore, with a shared path over the Harbour Bridge. Seapath will connect to the shared path over the Harbour Bridge and provide a fully separated, safe path for Aucklanders from Takapuna and Northcote to the city. It will also be a key tourist attraction.