Land Transport GFS 2012

July 28th, 2011 at 3:40 pm by David Farrar

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding is well worth a read. Only 32 pages.

It sets out long-term funding for both road and rail. Predictably the Greens (and sadly Labour also) have criticised it because they hate . The Greens do not accept that one needs both and . They think it is a choice, rather than being complementary. I guess in their ideal world would be so congested and unsafe that no one would use them, and hence save the planet.

Their reaction to the policy statement would have you think Steven Joyce is scrapping all public transport funding. Instead the true situation is:

  • increasing the funding available for new and improved State highways by $125 million for the first 3 years
  • increasing the funding available for public transport services by $140 million for the first 3 years

So of the new funding, 47% goes into state highways and 53% into public transport. Truly the Greens won’t be happy until it is $0 for highways.

Just out of the National Land Transport Fund (, road user charges, vehicle registration and licensing fees), public transport will receive between $750m and $1.1b in the next three years. Also up to $90m for dedicated walking and cycling programmes.

But that just the public transport funding from the NLTF. The Government has directly invested $2b into Auckland and Wellington rail.

So it is amusing to hear Labour and Greens call Steven anti-public transport. I think he has provided more funding for it than any other Minister. The Greens just seem to hate the fact that any money goes on highways, as that are by definition evil.

 

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34 Responses to “Land Transport GFS 2012”

  1. lofty (1,315 comments) says:

    Crikey this is a bit dry after the catfight thread…bugger all humour to be had here, I guess it will suit you pete eh.

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  2. chris (647 comments) says:

    The Greens seem to conveniently forget you need roads to put the buses on.

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  3. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    No doubt Green MP’s and other “important” politicians would all be allowed to have cars in their perfect world. Public transport for the rest of us comrades though

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  4. OTGO (551 comments) says:

    Labour and the Greens hate roads because they give the people choice. And choice is bad because they can’t control you when you have more than one option. Which is why they hate “rich pricks”. Rich pricks have money and money=choice.

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  5. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    DPF makes it sound balanced with the 47%/53% stuff. From a quick look, roading takes about 2.5 billion of the total land transport funding, as opposed to about 250 million for public transport

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  6. James Butler (74 comments) says:

    DPF, I recommend this post to you, specifically this graph. The GPS vastly prefers building new state highways over maintaining or improving existing roads – the very things you would expect to have the greatest impact on safety; and it enormously favours new highways over public transport infrastructure at a time when road traffic levels are static, and PT usage is growing. It’s a stupid strategy no matter which way you look at it.

    EDITED to fix link.

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  7. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I see that despite the planned increase in building new highways – 50% over 10 years – the maintenance, renewal and operational costs are forecast to remain static. Those new highways must be maintenance free!

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  8. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘So of the new funding, 47% goes into state highways and 53% into public transport. Truly the Greens won’t be happy until it is $0 for highways.’

    Wow that’s spinning it to the max. The true picture is $26.6 billion on roads, $5.8 billion on rail/buses over the next 10 years.

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  9. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    5.8 billion on buses and rail? struth.

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  10. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    This post by DPF goes beyond disingenuous. The total funding ranges are broken down by activity in table 2 on page 13 of the report. By my creaky mathematics the table suggests public transport gets about 10% of the allocation to roading.

    So the interesting question is – why the spin?

    Never trust a blogger with statistics.

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  11. flipper (4,068 comments) says:

    Why is it that socialists (including watermellons) think they can engineer my life style? What are the chances of public transport getting to my semi-rural residence? Zip. How will public transport encourage small business development – the sector that accounts for most employment and has the greatest potential for real growth?
    Perhaps we should find a means of stopping the world so that all the socialists, watermellon clowns, planners and would be social engineers can get off.

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  12. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    To expand public transport you need roads for buses. Rail is not an option and never has been in this country except for a few isolated places. I cannot understand the case for rail, it does not pass any economic case in this country and never has. It is a dead duck.

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  13. Griff (7,728 comments) says:

    I would like to see the mileage tax on diesel cars decreased. Maybe 3steps down from 3t to small car maybe on weight or on engine size the only reason the pious wins the efficiency rally’s done by the AA is the cost of mileage on far more efficient cars

    They always ask do you think there should be more public transport not would you use it

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  14. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Oh yeh yeh yeh. The greens and the lost Labour are not happy.
    Well neither am I. I am one of the many motorists and taxpayers who will be fronting up to pay for their bloody trains and buses we don’t use.
    Will the rail and bus commuters pay their way and generate a surplus to help fund the road for my campervan and car.
    Like fuck they will.

    Buses in the BOP area are subsidized by ratepayers and robbing the Ebop fund to the tune of 80 cents in every dollar of cost.
    I.e. for every dollar the bus costs to transport one on them We pay 80 cents of it for the privilege of being a non user and a ratepayer.
    Did Joyce address that issue.
    I wager not.

    The motorist is the cash cow for these raving lunatics.

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  15. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    The Greek rail network is a good example of an atrociously run state transport business. It costs 700m Euros/year to run (300m salaries, 400m ‘other’ costs). Revenue was 100m Euros, meaning a 600m Euro/year loss.

    A former Greek MP calculated that they could have put every individual passenger in their own private taxi and driven them to their destination anywhere in Greece with out charge… and it would have cost the country less than 600m

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  16. David Farrar (1,897 comments) says:

    Is there some reason retarded people do not know the meaning of the word new? It is quite clear in the post. And then the retards attack my integrity. Amazing

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  17. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    DPF gets cross because some comments point out that the GFS isn’t exactly a huge boost for public transport.

    [DPF: I never claimed it was a huge boost. I was pointing out that the Greens were attacking it for too much money going on roads, when in fact 53% of the *new* funding was for public transport]

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  18. aucklandmedic (3 comments) says:

    Lies DPF you have framed the funding completely wrong. The RONS make no sense with decreasing state highway traffic, increasing petrol prices and all the health and economic co-benefits of active transport and public transport. The correct figures are $2 billion on Roads annually and only $250 million on public transport. Joyce is out of touch

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  19. decanker (184 comments) says:

    The poor suffering motorist also walks, rides bikes and take buses, trains and ferries. Who is subsidising who here?

    Eventually predominant motorists will have to encourage more public transport funding to free up the congestion — we can’t just keep widening the roads.

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  20. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Stupid fucking Greens!.

    NZ’s first 100% electric car is about to be delivered to it’s new owner, are the Greens really that dumb that they think we will all be driving petrol or diesel powered vehicles in thirty years?

    Even electric cars need roads.

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  21. swan (665 comments) says:

    So of the new funding, 47% goes into state highways and 53% into public transport. Truly the Greens won’t be happy until it is $0 for highways.

    There are about 5 funding categories not two. Also would it not be better to compare capital extenditure on roads with capital expenditure on PT? Or operational spending on both? Instead you have compared capital expenditure and operational spending.

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  22. Griff (7,728 comments) says:

    Stupid greens where are we going to get the electricity for all these electric cars burn lentils?
    It will be controlled explosions for at least the next 30 years
    Public transport always needs subsides to operate they always talk of the capital coast but fail to identify the true on going costs
    Even quite big city’s still heavily subdivide there systems we can not afford to blow so much money

    For the price of Britomart you could have brought all the train uses an apartment

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  23. Seamonkey Madness (328 comments) says:

    No David, you are being disingenuous in both your original post and then pulling the ‘who me?’ card.

    The numbers speak for themselves: they are building MORE – and at most times unnecessary not to mention uneconomic – highways and then, get this, they are dramatically DECREASING the amount they are spending on maintenance for both the new AND existing highways.

    A set of graphics from Transport for America of all organisations shows that money spent on maintenance early saves approximately 50% in the long-term. Also, maintenance creates and maintains more jobs than road-building.

    How did English let Joyce go down this path?

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  24. swan (665 comments) says:

    Why have you only blogged on the first three years when it is a six year GPS?

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  25. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    The amusing thing is that nearly all that “increase” in PT spending will go straight back to the government as increased track access fees charged by KiwiRail and the fact that NZTA is now paying for Auckland’s electric trains – in other words, drivers from around the whole country will pay for half the cost of Auckland’s electric trains. Interesting for the rest of the country to ponder, as originally they were going to be paid for by Aucklanders alone through the regional fuel tax.

    It’s also somewhat disingenuous to say that this government has contributed $2 billion to rail. That includes the $600 million for Project DART (funded in the 2006 budget), $500 million for the infrastructure side of rail electrification (funded in the 2007 budget), $250 million for Wellington’s Matangi trains (90% funded by the Labour government) and of course the $500 million for the electric trains that I’ve discussed above (effectively the govt is claiming they’re paying for the trains twice over, when actually they’re only paying half).

    The “new” spending comment is disingenuous. All capital expenditure on transport over the next six years in the GPS is “new” spending. It’s not money that’s spent maintaining our existing roads or subsidising existing public transport services. It’s all new spend that we could avoid if we didn’t want to spend it. Of this “new” spending, around $8 billion is going into state highways and $272 million into public transport infrastructure.

    Setting aside the PT versus roads debate, the real problem with the GPS is its ignorance of roads maintenance. Roads maintenance funding has effectively been frozen for the next decade, both on state highways and local roads. Focusing on building shiny new roads at the expense of looking after what we’ve got in an American approach to infrastructure that’s a recipe for disaster: kinda like building a huge addition to your house but not bothering to paint your weatherboards.

    Within public transport funding, the huge focus on PT services and the slashing of PT infrastructure is also pretty stupid. PT infrastructure funding goes to things like ferry terminal upgrades, train station improvements, bus priority systems, integrated ticketing implementation and so forth. All things to make PT more efficient, effective and less reliant on subsidies. So effectively the government’s priorities will mean that we can’t improve the efficiency of the system and, once again, it will cost much more in the long run.

    Finally – there’s no real need to expand the state highway network. NZTA’s own data says that traffic flows around the country are the same as they were in 2005. Meanwhile, PT patronage in Auckland grew 8.5% last year. The government’s approach to transport funding is like expanding capacity in your factory for blue socks when demand is static, while slashing funding for upgrading your machines that make red socks – even though demand for red socks is increasing dramatically.

    Really, it’s just plain dumb. Of course if David actually read the document he’d know that.

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  26. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    jarbury

    Thanks. That’s a pretty devastating critique.

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  27. Tauhei Notts (1,714 comments) says:

    Roads, rail, roads!
    If the railways were subsidised as much by private motor car drivers, as the road transport industry is, the railways would be undercutting the road transport industry hugely.
    That is why I bought Mainfreight shares at $5.50. There is good dough in bludging.

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  28. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Not a problem Mike. Transport is my specialty: http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/07/27/gps-2012-just-plain-dumb/

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  29. Griff (7,728 comments) says:

    Rail means load on truck, take to depot, unload ,load on train ,shunt around ,send to depot ,shunt around, unload ,load on truck, take to final destination, unload- 11 operations
    Truck means load on truck take to final destination, unload -3 operations
    Rail takes way more time money fuel lots of shrinkage lots of damage rail only works for bulk transport from say a mine to the port
    not general cartage

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  30. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Griff, this policy statement has nothing to do with rail freight, which (for some bizarre reason) is funded through a separate process.

    The PT services funding is for subsidising public transport in urban areas, including Auckland and Wellington’s train systems. This is justified because every person on the train is one less person on the road and generates decongestion benefits for road users. In fact, NZTA calculates that each and every peak time rail trip in Auckland generates over $17 in road user benefits. Assuming that half of Auckland’s 10 million rail trips a year are at peak times (which is roughly right), then the rail system generates $85 million a year in decongestion benefits at peak time alone.

    Not bad on an investment by NZTA of around $40 million a year in helping to subsidise Auckland’s rail system.

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  31. Griff (7,728 comments) says:

    jarbury I was replying to Tauhei Notts
    You obviously know your stuff I checked your blog
    I note that” helping to subsidise Auckland’s rail system” who else is paying
    I also find fault with changing the way we live to suit public transport council are limiting urban sprawl increasing population densities around Nodes of public transport etc this drives up housing costs and changes our lifestyle the reason why many productive people still chose to live here
    having lived for the last 4years self sufficient in domestic energy I can see were huge gains can be achieved in our personal transport efficiency Lighter smaller cars will become the norm high speed ceramic diesel hybrid technology will push us out to 30kml+ cars are here to stay for at least the next 30 and proberbly a lot longer
    The greens are very strident in pushing a narrow range of public transport based options I chose to counter that however best practice is some were in the middle

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  32. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @ Griff

    The overwhelming majority of rail freight in NZ is containerised.

    Rail is acually quite a good way of moving containers.

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  33. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    PT subsidies are split between being paid for by NZTA and regional councils. Obviously in Auckland there is no regional council anymore so PT subsidies are paid for by Auckland Council. For buses the share is 50/50, for trains NZTA pay 60% – presumably due to greater decongestion benefits. Though that is being gradually lowered to 50% to free up money for Joyce’s pet motorway projects.

    On your “planners forcing high densities” point, I have to disagree. If you read through District Plans you will find 90% of the rules (minimu lot sizes, max building coverage, height limits, setback requirements etc.) actually force down densities. Planning actually forces sprawl much more than intensification.

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  34. Nikolai_V (3 comments) says:

    Practising roading engineer here – have to agree with jarbury. Current govt policy seems to be hell-bent on the RONS, with NZTA / Local Authority maintenance spend reduced year upon year despite constant (or very slightly increasing) traffic volumes. Particularly frustrating as the NZTA block programme has been curtailed as expenditure on the RONS was higher and earlier than anticipated, thus leaving little room for new projects to kick off. These projects, typicaly intersection improvements, passing lanes, realignments (block, so under $4.5M) all generally have BCR higher than 2.5, rather than the <1.0 some of the RONS are sitting at…. Not a good use of money.

    Govt will spin the current situation – we`re spending more on transport than ever before, BUT in less places with less contractors (unless what`s good for Fletchers is good for NZ??)

    Finally, the decreased funding of maintenance will simply create a bow wave of deferred expenditure – TANSTAAFL

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