Land Transport Management Amendment Bill
By John Harvey
Land Transport Management Amendment Bill 2007 tabled by Transport Minister Annette King
Transport Minister Annette King has tabled legislation designed to maximise the performance of the government land transport sector and its impact on the New Zealand economy and environment.
The Land Transport Management Amendment Bill 2007 will implement the recommendations from the Next Steps Review of the Land Transport Sector. The review, conducted by the State Services Commission, was released in May.
Transport Minister Annette King said today the Bill will create a new funding and planning system for land transport, introduce full hypothecation, or dedication, of fuel excise duties to the National Land Transport Fund from 1 July next year, and create the framework for a new Crown entity.
The legislation will also enable the levying of a regional fuel tax, a tool available to regions for priority projects that would not otherwise get adequate funding within the desired timeframe, she said. The tax can only be used to provide new public transport infrastructure and new roading projects. The maximum tax will be ten cents per litre, with a limit of five cents per litre available for roading projects. In Auckland, a ten cent per litre fuel tax could raise $120 million a year.
"In accordance with the Next Steps recommendations, land transport projects and services, including State highways, will now be included in a single regional programme which will only need to be prepared, and consulted on, once every three years. These changes will allow New Zealand to develop integrated solutions to our increasingly complex land transport challenges, while reducing the number of plans and simplifying consultation. The changes will also enable greater input to land transport programming by local government," Ms King said.
"The regional plans will be prepared within the context of clearer national priorities. This will be achieved through a Government Policy Statement to be issued every three years, which will help achieve greater alignment between national and regional priorities.
"Combining the functions of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand will create one organisation accountable to one board, ensuring improved focus on value for money for land transport activities and an appropriate balance of land transport activities. The new entity will be called the New Zealand Transport Agency," she said.