Waikato’s 30yr Vision: Cars


Hamilton’s regional council heard today that more than $4.7 billion worth of central and local government transport spending is expected in the Waikato over the next 10 years.

That’s a 60%  jump in average annual funding.

But before anyone gets their hopes up about Waikato commuter rail -forget it as it doesn’t rate a mention although its bus service does.

The big emphasis is on the Waikato Expressway.

And it’s also looking beyond the expressway. The committee also adopted a plan from NZTA,  which is designed to facilitate the Waikato Expressway’s development by ensuring integration between the project and other transport infrastructure and land use. This plan will include looking at the role of existing parts of state highway one once they are replaced by the expressway.

Transport project spending last financial year in the region was $296 million but this is expected to jump to an annual average of $477 million between 2011 and 2021 as the Waikato Expressway, in particular, and other projects are advanced.

Some $2.1 billion will go towards maintaining and renewing existing infrastructure and providing passenger transport, while nearly $2.7 billion will go towards actual land transport network improvements. The bulk of the $2.7 billion on improvements will go towards the expressway.

“The extra spending will contribute significantly to both regional and national economic growth, boost road safety and provide significant social benefits,” Environment Waikato’s transport group manager Vaughan Payne said after the meeting.

The figures were discussed as a draft 30-year Regional Land Transport Strategy was put before the committee and adopted for public consultation today. The draft strategy’s development follows close collaboration between EW, local Waikato councils and the NZTA.

The draft strategy puts an emphasis on three priorities:

  • Focused investment in strategic corridors and infrastructure such as the current Waikato Expressway plan, the new Kopu Bridge, and the East Taupo arterial route. It also suggests the completed expressway might eventually be extended from south of Cambridge to the state highway 29 turnoff to Tauranga.
  • Greater emphasis on promoting alternative forms of travel to cars such as cycling, walking and passenger transport.
  • Improving road safety through better design, enforcement and driver education.

Mr Payne said these three priorities were all highly important given the Waikato’s central role in the economic life of the country, particularly its agriculture and tourism sectors.

“We are part of the Auckland-Waikato-Bay of Plenty triangle which is expected to be home to 2.75 million people or more than half the national population by 2031. We need to ensure transport in this national economic engine room is as efficient and as integrated as possible.

“With, for example, 40 per cent of all exports tonnages going through the Port of Tauranga originating in the Waikato, it’s essential that the transport cooperation between Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty is very tight as we move forward.

“Our draft strategy envisages continuing close linkages between the regions to ensure we get things right.”




  1. Jon R says:

    Was this strategy written by anti rail MP David Bennett? It looks like his sort of style.

    Will the CBT have to have a larger Vote Trains campaign for the general elections in the Waikato next year?

  2. B says:

    This stratedgy signals the end of the world in my opinion the end to another 50 years of wasting more money and resources into unefficeient transportation methods. We should be looking ahead not wasting our future on cars.

  3. karl says:

    Obviously, somehow being “in the heartland” and not in the urban parts of Auckland or Wellington will protect them from future fuel price increases. Because we know that the farmers all have private oil wells, and the rest can drive electric cars.

  4. Luke says:

    No mention of the fact that 40% of the freight going out of Tauranga goes by rail, which costs the taxpayer very little money, A one of investment of about $10 million doubled the rail capacity of this line.

  5. Pickle says:


  6. nzbcfanboi says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised Jon all the more the reason to run Vote Trains for the 2011 Election keep trains the one issue in the Waikato

  7. Patrick R says:

    Bring on higher oil prices I say, the only way these idiots might see some sense. Just drove through Hamilton today, what a dog’s dinner…..


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