This extract from Wikipedia with very recent figures shows that in motor vehicles per capita terms, NZ is ahead of Australia and not far behind the US. In fact that has long been the case: figures published by the Motor Trades Association in the 1920s showed the same.
This is why planning for likely traffic congestion with the relentless population growth — a massive 40% likely in Waikanae in the next few years — is an unfortunate necessity.
Can people be coaxed out of their cars and on to buses and trains? We’re hopeful, but not optimistic.