|dc.description.abstract||Managing New Zealand's roads has been, and always will be, a complicated undertaking.
Roads provide a number of benefits to society, such as mobility and the transportation of
goods and services. But access and mobility comes at a price, that being high social,
economic and environmental costs. Traffic accidents result in severe social and economic
costs, and pollution released by vehicles can endanger the health of present and future
generations of humans and non-humans. The difficulty for road managers is attempting to
enhance the benefits of roads while minimising their costs. The growing levels of pollution
(such as increases in carbon dioxide concentrations (a greenhouse gas )(MfE, date unknown))
suggest that road managers have not been successful when it comes to avoiding, remedying,
or mitigating adverse environmental effects that result from roads (as the Resource
Management Act requires).
The New Zealand Government has recognised that the current road management system is
not delivering satisfactory outcomes in terms of its efficiency, safety, and its effect on the
environment. Consequently, the immediate past administration initiated a review ofthe road
management system, which resulted in the release of Better Transport Better Roads (BTBR)
in 1999. This document outlined a new possible model for road management intended to
improve the efficiency, safety, and environmental outcomes of road management in New
The main changes that BTBR proposed were to the management, funding, and payment
options for roads. Between four and eight public road companies would be responsible for
local roads, and Transit New Zealand Ltd would be responsible for the state highway system.
Funding would be provided by Transfund New Zealand Ltd. The principal objective of the
companies would be to "operate as successful businesses; be as profitable and efficient asadverse environmental effects.
A set of criteria was developed to evaluate the BTBR and LGNZ models, and to identify
areas in which these models were inadequate. The criteria were developed by reviewing the
literature and identifying policies that are, or could be, effective at avoiding, remedying, or
mitigating adverse environmental effects. Criteria were also established that would address
problems arising from the current management system.
Applying this framework to the two models revealed that the LGNZ model was more likely
to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse environmental effects than the BTBR model. However,
the LGNZ model was unable to satisfy all of the criteria, and therefore a new model was
developed which did so.
The new model incorporates two major changes. First, it proposes institutional reform, with
Regional Transport Authorities (RTAs) taking on the transport roles and responsibilities of
regional councils, local territorial authorities, and Transit New Zealand. RTAs would be
responsible for all transport matters (excluding aviation) in their areas, that is, those of the
The other major change proposed is the introduction of electronic road pricing. Differential
road pricing would be used to reflect different fuel-efficiencies of vehicles, engine size, and
the distance travelled. However, before road pricing is introduced, the public transport
system and other alternatives to the private vehicle would need to be developed to a level
where they provided real alternatives to the private car. This would help reduce the expected public opposition to road pricing.||en