The Government of New Zealand has unveiled its plans to invest approximately NZ$16.9bn ($11.17bn) in land-based transport systems over the next three years.

The $11.17bn investment marks an increase of 18% from the previous 2015-18 programme and a 44% increase from 2012-15.

A detailed investment plan, which has been narrated in the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), has been published by the New Zealand Transport Agency. The plan aims to provide a safer, better connected and more resilient transport system in the country.

NLTP includes NZ$12.9bn ($8.52) from the National Land Transport Fund generated through fuel excise, road user charges, and other revenue sources, as well as NZ$3.4bn ($2.24bn) from local government collected through rates and Auckland’s Regional Fuel Tax, and NZ$557m ($368m) in other Crown investments.

Zealand Transport Minister Phil Twyford said: “Our government is making safety a priority. NZ$4.3bn of investment will go into programmes and projects that will save lives by preventing accidents or reducing their severity.

“This will include revamping intersections to stop collisions, installing median barriers in high-risk areas, and increasing road policing. Roads receiving safety upgrades will include Dome Valley, Drury to Paerata, Waihi to Tauranga, and the Hawke’s Bay Expressway.

“Most roading investment will go to the regions, rather than the big cities. This reverses the situation in the last three years, when most of roading investment went to the metro centres. In total, our neglected regional roads will receive NZ$5.8bn of funding, a NZ$600m increase.

“This compares to NZ$5bn for roading in metro areas. A further NZ$300m will be invested in the regions in non-roading projects. State highways continue to receive the largest share of funding with a total of NZ$5.7bn.”

The government plans to invest NZ$3.5bn in new state highway projects such as Puhoi to Warkworth, the Waikato Expressway, the Mt Messenger bypass, the Manawatu Gorge replacement, Transmission Gully, and the Christchurch Southern Motorway. A further NZ$2.2bn will be invested in state highway maintenance.

Twyford concluded that the investment in New Zealand’s transport system will help grow its regions and make it easier to get around cities.