(ACT Party media release)

“Labour’s Road to Zero program is underdelivering on safety improvements and overdelivering on speed restrictions that no one wants. The Government needs to sort out its priorities for road safety,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“Documents released to ACT through the OIA show that the programme is on a road to nowhere. The Board’s Quarterly Report for the June 2022 quarter shows that Waka Kotahi [NZTA] aimed to have 1,000 km of median barriers installed by 2030. So far there have only been 67 km, and their optimistic forecast is for 587 km to be installed by 2030.

“In stark contrast Waka Kotahi [NZTA] has already surpassed their 10,000 km target for ‘speed limit management’. They’re on track to triple this by 2030.

“The report states that lowering speed limits is the most rejected ‘safety initiative’ possible. They’re excelling in the one area that no one wants them to.

“Lowering speed limits causes immense frustration for motorists and reduces productivity. This report shows that Labour prioritises this over practical safety improvements.

“The report also states that many of its objectives are in such bad shape they’re considered unachievable, including proposed improvements to investment in infrastructure improvements, enhanced safety of foot paths and cycleways, higher safety standards for vehicles entering the fleet, and better road policing.

“Barring one, every objective listed is suffering from “significant issues”. The only priority that is considered to be on track is mandatory anti-lock braking systems for motorcycles, which have been in place since 1 November 2021.

“ACT supports moves to lower the road toll – but that comes from better roading infrastructure, not slowing people down, causing frustration and putting further restrictions on businesses who have quite frankly put up with enough under this Government.

“Increasing the level of private sector funding will inject much-needed discipline into decision-making while allowing the Government to maintain prudent levels of public debt.

“Between 2007 and 2017, more than NZ$300 billion was raised by funds globally to invest in infrastructure. Most of that capital was raised from insurance companies, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds (including our own New Zealand Super Fund) looking for long-term investments with reasonable returns.

“ACT is ambitious for New Zealand and realises that slowing people down and making society less productive is not the answer for safer roads. Investing in modern infrastructure and improving the roads that Kiwis drive on is.”