Submit on the D(r)aft Government Policy Statement on Transport 2024

Submissions for feedback on the disastrous Draft Government Policy Statement on Transport close at noon (12.00pm), Tuesday 2 April 2024 – the day after Easter Monday. There is much to dislike about this proposal. In short, it signals a drastic turn away from active and public transport and rail, and a frenzy of road building - exactly the kind of infrastructure that we apparently can’t even afford to keep well maintained!

CAN supports Transport For All, a new coalition of transport and climate advocacy groups, including: All Aboard Aotearoa, Climate Club, Free Fares, Generation Zero, Public Transport Forum New Zealand, The Future Is Rail / Save Our Trains, and Women in Urbanism.

We recommend you answer the GPS questionnaire based on their helpful guide. Some of the Ministry's questions about the GPS are leading and / or misleading, so care is required!

Get started here:

We encourage you to include personal comments, either in the questionnaire or in a written submission. Give examples if:

  • you, or your whānau have benefited from improved cycling infrastructure.
  • a lack of specific safe cycling facilities limits your mobility.
  • you have safety concerns for yourself or your whānau or community.
  • a lack of safe facilities limits your children’s ability to get to school and visit friends safely.

Explain why:

  • riding a bike is especially critical to your mobility (e.g. you do not drive or do not have access to a car).

Some key reflections

Currently, most footpath and cycleway maintenance is paid for out of the road maintenance budget. Some new footpaths and cycleways, such as those associated with roads in new urban developments, are also paid for out of the road budget, as is standard practice. CAN is particularly alarmed by the proposal to ditch these long-standing practices, which would further financially burden local councils and lead to a rapid deterioration of footpaths and cycleways throughout the country.

CAN is also dismayed by the reduction in funding for the walking and cycling activity class, as well as for public transport and rail being proposed. The allocation of funds proposed in this GPS demonstrates a complete disregard for the urgent need to reduce climate warming greenhouse gases from transport and the importance of shifting transport behaviours away from car use.

The Minister has stated that he values the principle of user pays. It is, however, plainly evident that the full costs of private heavy vehicle use are not nearly being recovered, with not even enough to mitigate and pay for repairing predictable levels of road damage. If ‘user pays’ is the acceptable principle, then it stands to reason that operators of private heavy vehicles should pay for the full costs of the luxury of driving. There are many more expenses we incur as individuals and a nation than the cost of repairing overused tarmac.

Lastly - a favour to ask: We suspect that the changes proposed in this GPS will be upsetting and concerning to a wide proportion of New Zealanders, including a good number of those who voted for one of the Coalition parties. We encourage you to share this issue widely ( ) in your personal networks and ask them to make a submission. This is an important opportunity to broaden support for a cohesive vision of a healthier, more sustainable and equitable transport future for Aotearoa.