Minister On Road Freight


The minister of transport has dismissed suggestions of imbalance between road and rail freight policies.

Questioned by Labour MP Darren Hughes about KiwiRail’s turnaround plan, Mr Joyce said the MP was missing the difference that road freight investment was paid by road users.

Here was the exchange:

Darren Hughes: Why is there such an imbalance in the Government’s policies to address the efficiency of moving freight around the country, with his roads of national significance receiving $11 billion and rail getting only up to $750 million under the package announced today, when the doubling of the freight task that he talks about will be largely in bulk commodities— something for which rail is ideally suited

STEVEN JOYCE: The member is incorrect. The plan actually calls for a total of $4.6 billion to be invested over 10 years, most of which comes from within KiwiRail. That compares favourably, in fact, with the $10.7 billion for roading over 10 years, when one considers that roads currently carry 70 percent of freight. I say, for the benefit of the member, that the major point of difference is that road freight—and this investment in roading—is paid for by road users. The purpose of this plan is to get rail freight to the same point as road freight, where it can pay for its own capital and its own maintenance costs.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    And the minister misses the point when he doesn’t differenciate between private and commercial road users…

  2. Eric says:

    He does make a point though when he says that most of the 10 billion is paid by the road users and since 70% of freight is carried on the roads I think it’s a good balance.

  3. ingolfson says:

    Eric - only if you want to KEEP us using roads to the effective exclusion of everything else.

  4. Jeremy Harris says:

    All of the $10 billion is paid for by road users but thar doesn’t mean some of this money shouldn’t go to rail capital projects as road users get most of the benefits for such projects…

    I’m suprised, given the gummint’s historic investment pattern, that roads only have 70% of freight on them, it is 25 times the size of our rail network yet only carries 5 times the freight…


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