On Friday Transport Minister Michael Wood released a Ministry of  Transport ‘green paper’, which outlines “potential policies and pathways to a net zero emissions by 2050 – called Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi: Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050.

“Reducing emissions across the transport sector is an enormous undertaking, but it is achievable and will help support our economic recovery,” Michael Wood said.

“The transport sector currently produces 47 per cent of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions and between 1990 and 2018, domestic transport emissions increased by 90 per cent.

“We’ve already taken steps to reduce emissions but Hīkina te Kohupara shows we have to go much further.

“The pathways laid out in the report show it’s possible to meet our emission reduction targets, but big changes will be needed in the coming decades. There will be some hard choices to make, but it’s obvious we can’t continue with business as usual.”

Both the Minister and Ministry make it clear that this green paper, or discussion document if you will, is not government policy but given the work behind it, as well as the work being done by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and local government, it’s hard to see how much of it wouldn’t eventually form part of their policy. I think it also highlights the value in letting officials say what they really think rather than trying to fit to the ideology of the government of the day.

The report shows that based on current projections, including a increasing rate of electric vehicle uptake, that if we don’t do anything different then by 2050 we’ll still be nowhere near our needed net zero emissions.

The key reasons our emissions are so high is nothing new, and laid out below.

Our per capita transport emissions are high in comparison to other countries

Our per capita transport emissions are high in comparison to other countries Aotearoa has the fifth highest per capita rates of CO2 emissions from road transport in the 43 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries with data for road transport emissions. The top four countries were Luxembourg, the United States, Canada and Australia. Our high per capita transport emissions are a result of several factors, including:

  • Heavy reliance on fossil fuels for transport. Electricity and biofuels are less than 0.1 percent of the transport fuels used in Aotearoa. In comparison, in Sweden, renewable fuels are 14.7 percent.
  • Poor fuel economy of light vehicles entering our fleet. In 2020, light passenger vehicles (cars and SUVs) entering our fleet had an average reported emission intensity of 158 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre travelled (g CO2/km); and the figure was 219 g CO2/km for light commercial vehicles (vans and utilities) entering the fleet. In contrast, it was 122 g CO2/km for cars and 158g/km for light commercial vehicles registered in 2019 in Europe.
  • Reliance on road freight. Seventy percent of our freight moves by road, 16 percent by rail and 14 percent by coastal shipping, reflecting the needs of our more dispersed population when compared to Europe. In Europe, 50 percent of the freight task moves by road, 37 percent by shipping and just over 12 percent by rail.
  • Many of our urban areas are characterised by sprawling low-density land-use patterns supported by motorways. This has contributed to vehicle dependence and has limited the potential for public transport and active transport use.
  • Decades of private vehicle oriented transport planning and funding have encouraged car use over alternatives. For example building extra lanes to solve traffic problems rather than changing how we travel.

The Ministry have used an Avoid-Shift-Improve (ASI) framework to come up with their recommendations.

Transport emissions are driven by transport activity (number of trips and kilometres travelled), mode share (percentage share of different modes), energy intensity (quantity of fuel used per kilometre) and carbon intensity (emissions from quantity of fuel per kilometre)

The ASI framework addresses each of these four elements:

  • Avoid – improve the overall efficiency of the transport system through interventions to reduce the need to travel and trip lengths.
  • Shift – improve the efficiency of trips by promoting mode shift to low carbon modes, such as walking, cycling, public transport, coastal shipping and rail freight.
  • Improve – lower the emissions of transport vehicles and fuels.


From these they’ve come up with three key themes for how we address emissions. Themes 2 (Improving our passenger vehicles) and 3 (Supporting a more efficient freight system) are largely what we’ve seen before, with things like improving the uptake of electric vehicles, improving the efficiency of non-electric vehicles etc.

Theme 1 is where the Ministry differs from previous reports, such as the draft recommendations from the CCC, is it sees a much greater role for changing our urban form and mode shift in reducing our emissions. We think the Climate Change Commission was extremely unambitious on this and placed far too much reliance on electrifying the vehicle fleet. As a later part of the Ministry report states “Avoiding activities that produce emissions is, on balance, a more effective strategy than minimising the emissions from those activities“.

The Ministry’s suggestions on how we change the way we travel are summarised below (from page 35) and picks up on many of the things we talk about on a regular basis. It’s music to our ears seeing the Ministry pick up on these points and the detail behind them, which is discussed on subsequent pages.

I also quite like this little graphic showing the progression from movement focused streets to people focused ones, though it should perhaps also show some trains/buses and off-road cycleways on those sections on the left.

There’s so much of the detail behind all this I’d like to cover here but if I did this post would be way way longer than it already is.


The Ministry have taken the themes and applied different weightings to come up with four potential pathways for reducing emissions, with the fourth developed after the release of the CCC’s draft recommendations. These are described below:

  • Pathway 1 assumes ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’ initiatives (Theme 1) play a significant role in reducing transport GHG emissions. This pathway requires reducing nearly 30 percent of the light vehicle kilometres travelled by 2050 through reducing trip distances and encouraging mode shift to public transport, walking and cycling. It also requires higher mode-shift from road to rail and coastal shipping.
  • Pathway 2 assumes ‘improve’ initiatives (Theme 2) play a significant role in reducing emissions than Pathway 1. This pathway requires a larger number of electric vehicles with greater use of biofuels in the short to medium terms. There is also emphasis on ‘improve’ initiatives for freight.
  • Pathway 3 assumes ‘improve’ initiatives (Theme 2) play a more significant role in reducing emissions than the other pathways. In this pathway, bringing more EVs into New Zealand transport system compensates for the limited avoid and shift changes. There is also much more emphasis on ‘improve’ initiatives in freight.
  • Pathway 4 gives even stronger weight to ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’ initiatives (Theme 1) than all other pathways. This includes assuming that ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’ interventions happen more swiftly, bringing forward their impact on emissions and that the clean car policies will be very successful in accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles. This pathway requires reducing nearly 40 percent of the light vehicle kilometres travelled by 2035 and over 55 percent by 2050. In the long term, the greater impact of ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’ initiatives reduces the number of vehicles that need to be electrified.

Pathway 4 is the only one that meets the 2035 target set out by the CCC.

What’s more, from an infrastructure point of view, Pathway 4 is also the cheapest.

While there are four pathways, there will obviously be bits taken from all of them in the policy changes that we will eventually see. But it seems that through this work the Ministry, or at least one part of it, have come to the realisation that we’ve ultimately got two choices:

  1. Carry on largely the way we have been, spend more money and yet fail to meet our targets and obligations while retaining most of the other negative outcomes from our transport system, or;
  2. Change our towns and cities which will not only reduce our emissions but also improve a host of other outcomes, such as liveability, health and economic measures.

If you want to provide feedback, submissions close 5pm on Friday 25 June. There is not feedback form so you need to send any submissions via email to transportemissions@transport.govt.nz or write to them.

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    1. Yes, well anyway isn’t it the case the that the agencies, ie the infrastructure and service funders, can only really work on Avoid and Shift? Improve (ie EVs) is a govt policy and international technology and cost issue, beyond their control.

      But they can put on lavish and effective bus services, give them full priority, build quick joined up on street bike networks… fund PT and bike networks first in growth areas, not new highways, all of that sort of thing. A transport and urban form transition, while waiting for the fleet to slowly, but inevitably, electrify. So many co-benefits too of course.

    2. I don’t think you understand. These types of reports are not about changing things. They write reports like this as an alternative to actually changing things. A, S, I. Avoiding having to Shift or Improve.

      1. Yep they’ve got a place on the dusty basement shelf for it. Right beside the design guide, atap, a4e, the cycleways plan…..

        1. Yes it will site alphabetically between He Puapua (two parliaments you say?) and Heather Simpson’s report on Health and Disability Services (8 DHB’s? How interesting).

      2. I think that is about the crux of it. Somehow they have managed to pad it out to >150 pages as well. From a skim through much of the content is focused on technobabble or tired old fluff like carpooling, driverless cars (lol, still ‘just around the corner’ aren’t they), sustainable aviation fuel (lol, supposedly also just round the corner). Soon to be forgotten I imagine is “Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi”

      3. I see this more as an ongoing tension between the progressives and the highway builders. The progressives are managing to shape the reports more and more. Managing to shape action takes longer, but it does follow.

  1. I often hear people say that the public transport is not for them. The bus takes too long or it doesn’t go across town. People have excuses why they wont use PT.
    AT need to have a promotion campaign showing the benefits of PT, giving out HOP cards at shopping malls, explaining the AT journey planner, the need to reduce our very high emissions and some pictures of happy users.
    We need to get a lot of people to take that first step and discover how good AT is such as speeding along on the train to Britomart at 100km/hr.

    1. I’m like a broken record on this, but IMO the biggest problem in attracting reluctant and negative potential passengers to public transport is our failure to provide a proper rapid transport network. At present there’s very little “net” in the network and little being done to prioritise that. Instead, we (WK and AT, as well as the wider public) spend huge amounts of time analysing and debating mode choices on one or two major routes. All this is important, but I’d like to see the next RPTP implement, within the next three years, the complete “congestion-free network”, already identified and pretty much accepted even by the authorities, in a “proto-RTN” fashion, using express, limited stop buses with 24/7 bus lanes and intersection priority. Establish that now, and then convert to light rail or whatever mode over time.

      We also need to brand our RTN and make it a household word, to actively market it and give it a unity and consistency that transcends mode, rail, light rail and express buses all being marketed as a single network. It needs a unified colour scheme, common designation of lines (named, perhaps, or given a letter – D line runs on Dominion Rd, C line runs from Westgate to Constellation etc).

      If we want to attract the PT cynics we HAVE to address the legitimate concerns that the present network isn’t up to scratch. Urgently.

      At the present rate of progress we’ll be lucky to see one new RTN line every ten years – totally inadequate to meet the challenges we face. The cost of such a move would be minuscule compared to the construction of a single new rail-based RTN line. And that’s not to suggest we should forget about light rail or whatever on the proposed SW line via the isthmus to the airport; rather we should supplement it with an express bus proto-RTN.

      I firmly believe that future generations will look back at the 2020s and rightly criticise us for a lack of political leadership AND a lack of concern and understanding from the masses unless we do something now. Climate emergency means just that – “emergency” – and we’re at present fiddling while Rome burns.

    2. No amount of Hop Card giveaways at malls are going to change the fact that people have finite time and money and not everyone can spend an extra 90 minutes a day to make the same journey on a bus that has no bus priority for over 50% of your journey instead of making that same journey in a car.

      If you happen to have easy access to trains and can get to work at the other end of the journey and your lifestyle allows for that, great. But that’s not the reality for a massive number of Aucklanders and I’d caution against projecting that presumed level of access to usable PT across the entire city.

      1. While for many HOP cars isn’t a barrier, for others it is (not even necessarily due to money, more convenience). By actually having a HOP card in your wallet it will induce some people to try PT and from there hopefully continue to use it. It wouldn’t cost much (and ideally it would have been part of a National PT card).
        It is simply a piece of low hanging fruit. Make it free when registered have someone in malls etc doing it and helping people set it up.

        That and bringing in daily/weekly/monthly caps that are reasonable to encourage more off peak and additional usage rather than driving.

        1. Why use HOP full stop?

          An ap on your phone or your cc/debit/EFTPOS card should be all you need.

          Cards such as HOP are such 1990s thinking NZ, get up to speed with the rest of the world.

    3. I largely agree with David and Buttwizard here, but what you say is true, too. AT doesn’t effectively market what is working.

      I wonder if they’d be keen for some input about maps, too.

      1. They also fail to follow own strategy on parking supply and pricing, which is often cited as the biggest lever for modeshift in studies. Furthermore reducing supply and increasing price is revenue positive and entirely within their control…

        1. Parking levies, too. At the time AT were established, there was already a decision hanging over from the previous organisations, to explore parking levies. AT looked at it and surveyed the businesses in the city centre, who said no. On the basis of this (and little else), they didn’t propose policy changes on the issue.

          That’s an entire decade now of wasted time, due to AT not fulfilling their role as transport expert.

        2. I wonder if AT shouldn’t have the decision making powers? Perhaps AT can exist as the body of experts, they plan, design and propose changes, and then Council does the engagement? That way they own the strategy / risk etc.
          Or would that result in Council being really risk averse (like AT is now).

    4. “The bus takes 3× as long” is a very real practical problem, and it will make otherwise mundane trips almost impossible.

      I guess you also wonder why many people so profoundly despise climate change activism.

      1. I don’t really get this simplistic comparison of travel times when comparing modes because it’s not the same use of time. For example, if I’m biking to work then I just got 20-30 minutes of exercise – time I don’t need to spend going to the gym later. And if I’m on a bus or train then I can use my phone, or read something. What can I do in my car? Listen to the radio maybe, but nothing really productive (podcast perhaps?) – I have to just sit and drive…

        1. Depends on the situation, a 10 minute car trip from Te Atatu to Westgate on a weekend takes an hour or so by bus. One mode allows you more time to do non transport activities. Personally I do that trip by bike – about 30 mins. Poor PT options due to time and availability is a barrier for many.

        2. This is true up to some point, but you hit practical limits due to days not having unlimited hours. You can’t go somewhere in an afternoon if the trip takes 1.5 hours each way. Reading a book won’t change that.

          And keep in mind Auckland specifically is exceptionally hostile to bicycling. We have entire local boards with <0.5% mode share.

        3. I can’t read on a bus without getting motion sickness , although I can on a train. However, even if I could read on the bus I’d take a car for a 20 minute trip rather than the bus for a 60 minute trip.

          Completely agree with you regarding getting exercise while biking though.

  2. “reducing nearly 30 percent of the light vehicle kilometres travelled by 2050” seems a very unambitious target, given the rise in emissions since 1990, but I like use of congestion charging to finance alternatives, which seems to be mainly where this consultation is heading.

    1. So we get the congestion charges before the alternatives? Call me cynical, but nothing about NZTA’s/This Government’s/This Opposition’s attitude to actually rolling out PT with any credible speed is likely to see us lumbered with the costs well before we ever see a business case for the ‘alternatives’.

      CF: Light Rail rollout, Skypath boondoggle, no firm upgrade path for Northern Busway… but we got a regional fuel tax pretty quick-smart.

    2. Yes, I agree. I think we need to aim for reducing light vehicle km by 50% by 2030, or more specifically, by 7% per annum. This may not be sufficient but it’s definitely not too much. This sort of reduction will help with all four key strategic priorities of the GPS:
      – safety
      – improving travel choices needs this level of vkt reduction to provide the space, safety and priority for active modes and for buses.
      – emissions reductions, of course, and
      – freight – freight is held up by the congestion from the swamping of the system that the light vehicles do.

      In a few years’ time we can adjust this figure from 7% to something else; by then we’ll know more about land use changes, EV uptake, PT ridership, AT finally building cycleways, etc… and can make an informed choice. The options we’ll have will be far better if we start with this 7% per annum reduction now.

      1. Pathway 4 involves reducing light VKT 39% by 2035, comprised of 9% from land use and PT, parking pricing 3%, congestion pricing (AK & WG only) 3%, distance pricing 30%. The model seems to include 1%/yr population growth, to VKT/person reduces 47%. Bus fleet increases 436% and 97% of the bus fleet is electric by 2035.

        They don’t say what level of “distance pricing” would be needed to achieve a reduction of 40% in VKT per person. On the face of it it would have to be something like doubling the price of petrol (in real terms, as a proportion of income).

        1. Robert
          You have seen the figures for train usage in Italy. Much of that is assisted by road tolls of about $12 per 100km. Why is it that price? That is the cost to build and maintain the autostrada.

          In NZ we pay for power, water and gas and so why not the use of roads? Charging would ensure a more equitable system especially as more younger people choose not to drive. It would also recoup from tourists the costs of proving those roads.

  3. ‘The bus takes too long or it doesn’t go across town.’

    These aren’t excuses, these are absolute valid reasons. ATs fear to give over car space to 24×7 bus lanes, bus priority, speed up train dwell times, cheap City parking. AT are part of the problem.

  4. This appeared over the weekend I believe Paul has blogged on Greater Auckland previously. I think we can all agree they are not making things easy.
    I have a question what percentage of light vehicle travel would be Intercity or travel to and from a city and what is the potential kilometre reduction of a better long distance public transport network which can replace air and private car.
    Think about a family holiday with a Ford Ranger to tow the boat another for the caravan hardly low emissions but pretty typical. Electric vehicles are actually pretty useless for towing and I have only heard of low power electric outboards. Don’t know what I am trying to say except some people carry a lot of stuff with them. I used to travel with a tent in my suitcase using public transport and staying in campgrounds in England, France and Germany but for some unknown reason have never done it in New Zealand. We need a change of mind set or maybe we need to be brave enough to do things a bit different and not mind what other people think of us. Another thing I find is that I do not want to put the people I visit in the position that they feel they have to run me around because I didn’t arrive by car. I would rather be independent but some how that ends up involving a car.

    1. I don’t think we know that figure.

      Here is the official vkt split between rural and urban as at May 2019:

      When I wrote about it, though, I added this:

      “Caveat: NZTA are improving the way they split vehicle km travelled into different road types at present, which is great. For now, it pays to note that NZTA have counted urban motorways as rural roads. A more accurate estimate might be arrived at by shifting that travel into the urban tally. The 2017/18 data (only, for now) is detailed enough to be able to do this, and the shift turns these figures around, to 42% rural, 58% urban. Rural travel is still significant.”

      1. Thanks Heidi.
        Yeah rural is big. The perceived need for a towing vehicle will kill any uptake of electric vehicles for most. A switch to electric farm bikes and quads may help to change attitudes depending upon how well they preform. Maybe there should be subsidy or reduction in sales taxes for electric farm vehicles.

        1. The towing thing is hilarious. “I need x towing capacity, for…..”

          I grew up on a farm, almost everything that ever got towed was light 500kg sets of temporary yards, 10 rams, building materials etc, my mazda demio would be fine for these loads. Or in practice, a small 4 wheel drive that you could load up the tongue weight on. If it were heavier, then the tractor with hydraulics and brakes on the trailer is a much more capable, useful, safe vehicle so that was used. And long distances, trucking companies are far more economical. Stuff from town, chemical, fert, etc is all delivered.

          Almost the only thing people actually use the towing capacity for on these utes is their boat (essentially claiming a hobby as a business expense), But imo the little boats are more fun anyway.

        2. The real need to tow for many is pretty infrequent. Often a smaller, perhaps EV car for non-towing (majority of the time) use would be fine. Provided an option to hire a tow capable vehicle is available. There’s an opportunity for car rental places to provide this.

        3. On the most intensively farmed properties there is always a milking unit tied to the electricity network. It would be straightforward to have charge points for electric quads, tractors and utes. The massive irrigators ($500,000 and upward) which move themselves across the paddocks in Canterbury and some other places do so by the force of the water which itself is powered mostly by electric motors.

        4. Check out any airport operation next time your at one. Whether Hamilton, Auckland or Heathrow (where I currently work), all towing (bar aircraft movements) is done by electric vehicles and has been for 30+ years. Those loads often far exceed any weight a campervan or boat would equate too. Often the vehicle is a golf cart, very powerful little machines.

          All motorcycles (scooters/quads etc) should be electric now. Would do wonders for places like India and Vietnam with their tuktuk/scooter pollution.

      2. I assume they’re still counting a trip from Auckland to Tauranga as rural? I’ve never needed to tow a trailer on this route.

        While it’s true that people in live in rural areas are more often towing things, I think their travel would make up way less than 42 % of VKT.

    2. I don’t think a family holiday with the Ranger and the boat a couple of times a year is a problem with emissions by itself. The problem comes when Mum or Dad then use the Ranger to commute to work everyday by themselves or when six mates travel to New Years separately in their own Ranger, Triton, Amrok, Colorado, BT-50 and Hilux.

      As surprising amount of holiday travel happens between the main centres as people visit family so I think the public transport improvements you suggest are well worthwhile.

      The best option is probably to normalise letting family borrow the car as we do, it generally ends up being reciprocated.

      1. Jezza, if the solution lies in lending cars to each other – and this is not a bad idea, just insufficient – how do we provide access for the growing proportion of the population who don’t drive on the open road, for whatever reason?

        People on medication, people who don’t have a license, people who don’t drive frequently enough to trust themselves on the open road, children, people who have no confidence since losing loved ones to a road crash, people too old to drive, people with mobility or sight problems meaning they can’t drive…

        Continuing to ignore their needs doesn’t align with the GPS nor, presumably, with other legislation about health and equity.

        Let’s plan for our people – and set our children up better for the future at the same time.

        1. I agree, my comment is very much in support of intercity public transport. I’m merely offering a solution for those that like to have a car to get places once they are there and thus take their car with them.

        2. We need the urban public transport to make the long distance public transport climate friendly. And to make it viable for people who can’t or don’t want to drive but still want to be independent.

      2. Yes Jezza it goes both ways my brother turns up from Christchurch at the airport and I pick him up with the car. Next time I should turn up at the airport with a spare hop card and take him home on the bus. The problem is he lives 50 kilometres from the airport I am three. Anyway he doesn’t mind picking me up but that’s not the point is it.

      3. I’m all for getting the right vehicles for the right people. It has always struck me as somewhat ludicrous that the people who drive the biggest, fuel guzzling vehicles, are usually the single males, (thinking of themselves as Alpha males), with a big engine and 4 sets but only one person – the driver, going from home to office carpark every day. When really, the person that really needs a large vehicle more might be the mum or nanny, who may have to juggle several kids, car seats, shopping, etc – and all in the smallest or oldest / crappiest car in the family fleet. It is rare that you see the male say “I’ll take the Demio, you take the Commodore” etc.

        Shades of the Castle – “I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore.” Steve: “I’ll have to get the keys to the Cortina if I’m gonna move that Camira.”

        1. It would be interesting to know how true that is now. I certainly see lots of women in large SUVs including mums. Once a month there is a footfall session down my road for young kids. And just about every family now arrives in a doublecab ute or a large SUV. Quite a few TV ads for SUVs are now targeted at young women as well.

        2. The opposite is usually true in my experience. Mums often get the big car/SUV while the dads take the older/smaller/more fuel efficient car to work. The main exceptions to this of course being company/work (Ute) vehicles.
          In my own case I’ve got a hatchback while the wife has got the SUV (which is worth 3-4x what mine is worth).

        3. An SUV in the northern Hemisphere is a women’s car. Men tend towards saloons, sports cars or Ute’s

    3. As far as emissions reductions go, we need to seize the lowest hanging fruit first. That’s daily short distance trips within cities done in private vehicles. These are the sort of trips that can be most easily/cheaply replaced with active modes or public transport.

      In NZ there is a lot of scope for better intercity public transport (Auckland to Hamilton and Tauranga, Wellington to Palmerston North etc.) and it is worth investing in. In fact the status quo is so bad that great improvements could be made for relatively little cost. But it’ll still needs to be between significant population centres to get reasonable ridership.

      On the other hand high emissions travel for recreation (towing, flying or very long distance) tends to be very infrequent so doesn’t offer much emissions reduction for the amount of money you’d have to spend to reduce it. That’s “very infrequent” averaged across the population, sure there are a few people who take their boat or caravan out every weekend but there are far more who don’t even own a boat or caravan (or who do but it never leaves the driveway).

      As an aside, yes there are no electric vehicles currently on the market that are designed for towing. But when there are they will change everything because electric motors produce maximum torque at 0rpm (which is when you need it most). So electric utes will be far superior to diesel in this respect. That’s why both established (Ford et al) and new (Tesla, Rivian) ute makers are racing to bring an electric ute to market as soon as possible.

      1. By the way, the climate damage from our international flying alone is larger than our climate damage from all our car trips. Yet very few people benefiting from it. Flying is startlingly inequitable.

        1. It would be great if this caught on. We need a fundamental change in NZ – instead of having to import another 2-3 million cars, with EV instead of ICE, wouldn’t it be nice if we just converted the existing cars we have, whipping out the ICE and replacing with a small intelligent EV system and a big new polymer battery….

          Maybe McKay Electrical could lead the way for NZ.

        2. Yes. I agree. Sometimes I wish there was a government programme to coordinate information and expertise for it. But maybe that’s not necessary; just firm expectations about low emissions zones and rising fuel taxes, etc should surely incentivise people with the skills to turn this into an industry.

      2. There are actually a number and I own one (Jag I Pace) but due to NZs piss poor emissions standards it is years off from the NZ market. My other car (diesel) has better immissions standards then most new cars sold in NZ.

        Our govt needs to step up car immissions standards to that of Europe pronto.

    4. It’s very hard to tell. A lot of intercity travel is for work jobs or for commuting, e.g. 20% of the workers in Palmerston North come from out of town – Feilding (which does have a bus service), Whanganui, Kāpiti. Better PT could help, although there is still the last mile problem – the train station is on the edge of town.

      For holidays, with better PT there could be a shift to having holidays closer to home, as was common in the 1970s and again in 2020. There are lots of holiday destinations in Auckland that can be reached on AT.

  5. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018795700/government-climate-change-response-inadequate-campaigner

    “If you believe that the goals that we need to get to are aligned with the purposes of the Zero Carbon Act, which is to contribute to 1.5, then thus far, the government and the Labour Party have demonstrated no interest or willingness in doing that.

    “What they have done conversely is to align themselves behind the recommendations of the Climate Change Commission, whose work and recommendations… are woefully inadequate in science and equity and likely to have them called out internationally.

    “They’re choosing not to align themselves with the global climate science and the purpose of the Act… One of the reasons behind that is the the agencies are really poorly prepared for the scale and rate of change… Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport, the Ministry of Transport… these organisations have simply failed to do the work that’s required in order to inform the politicians of the options they have…

    “Until that work’s done… it’s not surprising that the prime minister and ministers are incredibly poor informed of their options.”

    1. That’s not true at all. Just because Paul Winton is an Elon Musk fanboy and cannot see beyond the electric fairytale, does not mean the Government and its agencies are sitting idle.
      The Government is not aligning itself to the Climate Change Commission and whilst I agree that the CCC interim report is disappointing, it is by no means the final recommendations of that commission and by no means Government Policy.
      If you bother to read the MOT Green Freight paper or the Green Paper released this week, it’s clear that this Government is ready to address CO2 emissions in a sensible and meaningful way, that gets NZ to the climate change obligations we have made.
      We can expect to see financial incentives/penalties that encourage light vehicle shift to EV, Road charging that will discourage wasteful journeys, investment in walking and cycling to encourage mode shift to active and biofuel mandates for heavy goods vehicles and aviation.
      That’s all massive progress from where NZ was just a few years ago.
      Having read your submission to the CCC I would say that you and Paul Winton poorly informed, not the Government.

  6. One of the many advantages of riding a bike,is it gives you uncluttered thinking time.This came to me whilst riding after having watched a TV program on saving some of native species(trees,birds and animals) from extinction.”What if our roading/transport was viewed as an ecosystem”.
    Currently you would have to say that it has a dominant predator(SOV,s),that eventually will drive(pun intended),all others in the ecosystem into extinction
    Happily the program offered up some solutions, (trapping ,poisoning, fencing)to reduce/restrict the dominant predator(poisoning a little radical in transport case),and a breeding program to ensure survival of the threatened species.
    Maybe NZTA should take their cues from DOC.

    1. A complicated breeding program of cyclists, tightly managed to minimize incest and maximize genetic diversity within the remaining members of their species, all while they keep getting picked off.

  7. I think density alone won’t help. Only improving infrastructure, quality and frequency of services.

    For example I was living in one bedroom apartment in 14-story building on lower Hobson street, hard to imagine more dense living, but the school zoned to this are is a Freemans Bay school. We tried to catch a bus couple times but we never succeeded because it simply never stopped on our handwawing, the only reallistic option was to walk the Fanshawe street, which feels utterly unsafe as busses and trucks whistling centimeters near. We were brave and we were walking, but most of parents in this area drive their children every day, because it’s simply safest and easiest option. Fail in public transport and in infrastructure.

    This is not the end of the story. Later we decided to rent in the Hobsonville Point, it’s central parts are almost as claustraphobic as the CBD, bot it seemed attractive that school and the daycare are meters from most of these townhouses and appartments and there’s a ferry to the downtown. We didn’t move because we found that the waiting list in that central daycare was 2 years which meant never for our second 3 years old child and if we wanted to stay there we would need to drive him to one of daycares in the West Harbour. Fail in infrastructure.

    Also I think when density is too high it’s getting harder to squeeze important infrastructure such as schools and health services into the grid.

    1. Yup. Nothing’s joined up. A quality compact urban form requires liveability designed into it. This means the dominance of the car cannot continue – so the political economy of car dependence needs to be tackled on all fronts at once.

      There is Zero willingness to do this. We are completely leaderless on the changes we need.

      On your last point, it’s not that it’s too hard. It’s that schools and health services need to be valued, and the land use needed for them needs to be planned. While the government has its head in the sand about the multiple costs of not intensifying we’re not going to get them to do this.

      1. This is the crux of my concern about increasing brownfields density. Not that it shouldn’t be done (it must!), but that for some reason it only ever involves houses, and maybe a privately-run daycare. No schools, no sports grounds, no greengrocers, no PT hubs – if they aren’t mandatory, the developers won’t build them as they don’t generate the same price per sq m as a poorly built townhouse.

        1. Yep and its also things like street lighting- our street is getting a lot of intensification and of course the hope is the people will walk and use PT more but the street is very dark and off putting ( not helped by the construction companies wrecking the foot paths )

        2. The dearth of reserves – even small ones – amongst all this density housing is one of my main concerns.

          I can live with a backyard with only the room for a deck and BBQ – as much of this infill and sprawl housing is. But surely some communal space/green lung makes sense for people with families to embrace it. And schools/daycare of course.

        3. We already have massive reserve networks throughout our suburbs. The last thing we need is more of them! We also already have space set aside for PT hubs. That space is called streets.

          We just need about 4 times more people in those suburbs

        4. Really? The new sprawl suburbs? All I see a rows and rows of housing, with practically nothing for a back yard – not necessarily an issue – combined with absolutely no grass/reserve areas whatsoever, other than a berm.

          I am sure there are exceptions – Hobsonville Point comes to mind – but that’s been my experience of these new areas.

        5. Yes, especially the new sprawl suburbs. Millwater and Ardmore are the prototypical examples for me. Perhaps you aren’t seeing reserves because you are driving past on arterials.

          JK specifically mentioned Brownfields intensification though, which isn’t happening in new sprawl suburbs. It’s happening in areas littered with tiny, unloved reserves that need more people using them to make them more attractive.

      2. One way to avoid these problems is to fight off intensification.

        No intensification means no full schools, no year long waiting lists at day cares, not getting left behind by buses and ferries, and no on street parking chaos. You’ve got to wonder what are we expecting people to do.

        I can think of other solutions. Maybe they’re stupid ideas because I’m not a city planner.

        – build more schools.
        – abolish residential-only zones (I hate to think how many business ideas are killed right off the bat due to not being able to set up a shop front in your garage)
        – figure out why there aren’t more daycares (probably see above)
        – don’t put new dense suburbs where they’re only reachable by ferry. I mean, Hobsonville point? What were they thinking?
        – manage on street parking.

        I always find it amusing that Wynyard Quarter is obviously conceived as family friendly, but you can’t actually live there as a family because it is so far from any school. What prevented the council from planning a school over there? We’ve got the same amount of population as Whangārei in the city centre without a single school. How is that supposed to work? We’re often moaning about why families don’t stay in the city centre, but actually we’re lucky they don’t.

        1. Funnily enough the daycare situation has largely resolved itself over the last few years mainly because it is more private enterprise and less city planning.

          A number of daycares have opened up in the last few years and it is now much easier to find a space than it was a few years ago.

        2. Well, with Wynyard it’s not that bad: Freemans Bay School is just 1.4 Km from Daldy street apartments through the Linear park and Victoria park, Franklin Rd and Napier St. Not comparable with walking Fanshawe.

        3. Yes that is also the closest school from Victoria Quarter.

          You still have to wonder is it really normal to be almost 2 km away from a school? You’re not in the suburbs over there.

          And how big is that school? The internet tells you about 500–600 kids. An 50,000 people town with an average age pyramid will have around 4000 primary school aged kids. 6 or 7 schools.

          What can happen (and what has happened elsewhere) is that over a wide area schools get full, and parents will have to bring their kids to schools many kilometres away. How will the situation be in 5 years? You’re willing to take that risk?

        4. Land use changes to reduce travel demand and thus emissions is a biggie. What would it take for the government to adopt a true 20 minute city policy? I wonder if the Ministry of Education would plan the location of new schools in existing areas rather differently if they were required to plan in a way that reduces the students’ and families’ transport emissions.

  8. I guess I will need to read this report but it seems like a big problem if Waka Kotahi think “movement corridors” don’t need bus lanes or cycle lanes.

    What’s the blue piece of chocolate sitting on the divider between vibrant streets and local streets? Is it a filter making a low traffic neighbourhood?

  9. Couple of bits I spotted: the “base case” (against which the 4 pathways are compared) already includes the Clean Car Plan and a feebate; and the Ministry is already working on CO2-based RUC. Can’t come soon enough!

    1. It’s almost like we should have never pulled up the railway and should be sending trains between Cambridge town centre and Hamilton city centre every 30 minutes or so…

      1. +1 to that. Was so angry when that happened but leadership from councils could correct that mistake if they wanted to. Same goes for the Thames and Rotorua.

  10. It is beyond absurd to have signed up to the Paris Accords and Kyoto years ago and this is MoT’s first attempt at coherent policy.

    MoT have fiddled while we burnt.

    MoT are also the NZTA regulators. So do the standard boring AT+NZTA beat down if you want, MoT are simply lazy, late, shit at their job, and generating option papers weeks out from the Commission delivering it’s final proposals. Worse than useless.

    Merge MoT into NZTA, and do the same with AT. Otherwise ignore them. Everyone else does.

  11. Based on the governments own data cars only contribute 11% of our emmissions and not the 47% implied. It seems to be a bit of a smoke in mirrors approach to attack private cars which have been a key target since the 2017 change of government.

    The strange thing is how the “experts” of these reports seem to fail to appreciate that cars already have the perfect tool for charging their emmissions as in fuel tax. It’s a simple fact that the more fuel you use, the more emmissions you create and the more tax you pay.

    1. X% of emissions is a bit of a false target. If its based of GWP100 figures (which I think it is) then that’s already been heavily influenced by big oil drilling countries. Assuming zero warming from gasses after 100 years, when in reality co2 dug out of the ground will keep on warming for millennia.
      So yes 11% of all emissions in NZ are cars. And because its all dug out of the ground and mostly all co2 then its the worst emissions too.

      Also this “war on cars” thing is really funny. They have committed to and funded multiple car inducing 4 lane highways. A war where they’re funding the party they’re at war with? Sure buddy. National did more for cycling than labour has.

      1. To avoid confusion, I’m not opposed to the 11% being reduced to 0%.

        You’re being disingenuous to claim that just because some regional highways are being built that all the other things being done to make driving harder, slower and more expensive are totally irrelevant so I wont engage further with you on that.

        In my view every government should build cycleways, unless they are >$0.3B projects that provide for <3,000 users a day.

  12. The other scare tactic is claiming we will become a dumping ground for dirty cars if we don’t ban petrol cars. If this were really the case we would all be driving round in cars from the 60s before catalytic converters became standard.

    In reality the vehicle fleet will naturally change as it does already. As electric cars come cheaper more people will get them, as fuel gets more expensive the more people will switch, as fuel demand goes down the harder it will be to find fuel making another incentive to go electric.

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