The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will invest NZD9bn ($6.8bn) in the country’s land transport between 2012 and 2015, under the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

The investment will improve public transport services and renew, maintain and operate local roads and state highways.

Under the NLTP programme, NZTA aims to provide solutions for the local and national transport network by delivering value for money, supporting economic growth and productivity, improving road safety and providing transportation choices based on the public’s preference.

NZTA board has provided relevant information to the regional transport committees and 78 local authorities to help councils make long-term plans accordingly and prioritise projects.

NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said that NZTA staff all around the country have been meeting regularly with their council counterparts for several months to ensure that they understand the focus of the NLTP, as well as help them prioritise their own transport programmes so that the activities at the top of their lists are those most likely to be funded.

"That’s the message we’ve been giving to councils and that’s why we’re providing them with these indicative investment levels now, to ensure that they know how much funding will be available for investment in key areas so they can plan with certainty for the next three years," Dangerfield added.

NLTP is increasing the current budget for public transport services by 33.2% and invest NZD830m ($630m), whereas it has plans to increase the maintenance and operation budget by 2.3% and invest NZD600m ($455.4m).

The programme will increase 2.7% in the current budget for the maintenance and operation of state highways and invest NZD829m ($629.2m).

NLTP will invest NZD680m ($516m) and NZD625 ($474m) respectively for the renewal of local and state highways at an increase of 2.3% in the current budget.