Have your say - Transport GPS submission guide

Transport Policy submission guide

The Government’s new transport policy (the GPS) will invest more in cycling, walking, public transport and safety than ever before. CAN rates it at 9/10. But it's still in draft form, and we need to have our say to make sure it gets approved. Follow our submission guide and have your say BEFORE 5pm Wednesday 2 May 2018. 


What's this about?

We know you're busy. So we only ask you to make a submission on Government transport policy when it really matters. This one really matters.


The Government has just released a new draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport. It represents a significant change from the previous Government's motorway-dominated policies. Here at CAN, we reckon it's a vital and welcome change of direction.


But it's only a draft, and it's under threat. It's hard to change the status quo, and not everyone agrees that the Government should invest in cycling.


That's why we need you to submit and say that you support the direction laid out in the draft Government Policy Statement.


There are plenty more submission points you could make (see "Detailed submission" below), but the main message the Government needs to hear is that lots of people back its new direction on transport.


I want to make a quick submission:


  • We suggest you email gps2018@transport.govt.nz and say something like this:
    "I strongly support the Government's new strategic transport priorities of safety, access, environment and value for money. I welcome the increased funding for public transport, walking, cycling and rail, and the decreased funding for state highways. I want to see the Government do even more to build a safe, modern, sustainable transport system for New Zealand that sharply reduces transport greenhouse gas emissions."
    Include your name and postal address.


I want to make a detailed submission:

We're not claiming the draft GPS is perfect. Here are some detailed points of support, and requests for improvements, you could make in your submission:


I strongly support:

a) the strategic priorities of safety; access; environment; value for money;
b) increased funding for public transport (including rapid transit), walking, cycling and rail
c) emphasis on integrated planning and mode neutrality;
d) a second-stage GPS " to fully realise Government’s direction for transport investment" (draft GPS p5)

Here are some things I'd like to see changed:

a) allocating funding by Activity Classes that are largely defined by mode is inconsistent with the theme of "a mode neutral approach to transport planning and investment decisions" ( p23)
b) environment ("reduces the adverse effects on the climate, local environment and public health", p7) should be a key strategic priority (like safety and access), rather than a supporting one
c) continuing the very high level of funding for state highway improvements is not consistent with the strategic priorities. I want to see state highway funding reduced.
d) recognising the safety implications of mode choice (e.g. the risk associated with travelling by car is roughly ten times greater than the risk of travelling by public transport).
e) greater support for demand management, such as congestion charging and road pricing.
f) ensuring distributional effects and equity effects of policy tools are managed properly - so the changes in transport funding and mode provision don't hit poor people disproportionately hard.


Background information

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport sets the Government's policy direction on transport. It's revised every three years, and the last one was issued in 2015 by the then-National Government. They also issued a draft GPS in February 2017 but didn't complete it.


Minister of Transport Phil Twyford and Associate Ministers Julie-Anne Genter and Shane Jones have a positive vision for transport: a vision that put reducing dependence on private cars, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving public health at its centre.

Further reading

Here are two articles that do a good job of summarising why the draft GPS is worth supporting:


Here is the draft GPS itself, and supporting documents:


Draft GPS 2018/19 – 2027/28

The Government’s commitments have made it clear that transformation of the land transport system is a priority. This draft GPS presents a number of changes in direction, prioritising safety, access to a wider range of transport options, the environment and value for money.

As part of developing the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport for 2018/19 – 2027/28 (GPS2018) a draft of the document is now available for people to review and provide feedback. Engagement is open until 5pm, Wednesday 2 May.


I'm puzzled by the suggested change; "I want to see state highway funding reduced". The Greater Auckland blog states that funding will be reduced, by 11%. Are you unaware of this, or is it not enough, or is it wrong?

Yes, we are aware of the decrease to highway funding. That makes sense, as it frees up transport dollars for higher priorities. I suggest your submission supports this reallocation.