Land Transport Programme lacks Ambition – Rail Party


There was a slight Freudian Slip on page 105 of the recently released 2021- 2024 National Land Transport Programme, mistakenly referring to one of the country’s most important railway lines, the North Island Main Trunk as the “Truck Line”. That typo largely sets the tone of the 3 year, $24.3 Billion Investment in transport infrastructure. That number sounds impressive on paper, but with only a sixth of that funding being put towards rail projects. it’s hardly the transformative change necessary to change our car dependency and reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

There is no plan put forward for new passenger services anywhere nationwide, but Christchurch is most egregious in its absence. It is the largest city in Australasia without a passenger rail service, yet the region will receive only $1.2 Billion in investment, with a mere fifth of that funding budgeted for public transport. Whereas the Wellington Region will receive $3.1 Billion, more than the entire South Island! While greater funding for cycleways and road safety is welcomed, sadly New Zealand’s second largest city will remain heavily car dependent for its future transportation needs. It is little wonder that transportation accounts for 54% of the Canterbury Region’s carbon emissions.

To meet our emission reduction targets we must be bold, far bolder than we as a Country have been in the past, and rail should be playing a key role in that reduction. This is no far flung fantastical notion. The existing rail network reaches most of our regional centres. What it requires is some ambition and investment to undo decades of neglect. The NZ Rail Party believes that getting traffic off the roads and onto rail benefits New Zealanders both environmentally and economically.


  1. But…?
    NZ Rail is OUR rail. It always was and always will be. Why are we debating the in’s and out’s of a cats arse when we should be marching on OUR parliament to demand who paid what to whom which saw politicians of the day pull up our rail system and entirely without resistance from us!? What the fuck springs to mind!? What’s worse it was specifically the rail systems into our agricultural primary industry hinterlands!! ?? Not between useless Wellington and pointless Auckland.
    What’s different is merely the definition of it that’s turned a state owned, tax payer funded and maintained resource into a battered abuse victim hiding behind the kitchen table.
    Rail is an essential resource that belongs to us all ( Like so many other now privatised once were public owned resources like electricity etc. ) so what the fuck’s it been doing being flogged off between rorting scum bags? Shall we ask those same rorting scum bags?
    The road transport industry rorting scum bags would be a great place to start, what do you reckon?
    Lets start with mainfreight, then move on to freightways, and owens etc..?
    The complex city library sized stack of documents normalising what could only be described as crimes are for everyone to see so fuck them, because so what? We need a new, angrier, more direct kind of “lets find the bastards who did this to us” attitude.

    • Indeed. Someone should investigate the Road Transport Federation. In Switzerland, trains haul trucks on a flatbed, with the drivers all in a coach. This should be encouraged here. Double tracking would help, and bridges and and and……..Thanks, Stephen Joyce.


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