New Zealand seeks input on sustainable transport paper

The New Zealand has published a discussion paper on sustainable transport. In the paper they outline a number of targets for improving the sustainability of New Zealand transport and are now seeking responses.

Here is a summary of the targets proposed:

Government agreed high-level outcome target for 2040

  • halve per capita domestic greenhouse gas transport emissions

Proposed additional high-level outcome targets for 2040

  • travel times by all modes will be predictable
  • travel times by principal routes to be improved relative to 2007 for identified critical intra and inter-regional connections, as determined with each region.
  • all individuals have access to the facilities and activities they need, such as work, education, medical care and shopping centres, to participate in society
  • public health effects of transport to be at accepted international standard
  • local environmental impacts of transport (including air and water quality) to be at accepted international standard
  • operate to world best-practice safety standards for all modes of transport

Government agreed intermediate or detailed target for 2040

  • become one of the first countries in the world to widely deploy electric vehicles
  • a biofuels sales obligation that will begin at a level of 0.53 percent from 2008, increasing to 3.4 percent of annual petrol and diesel sales by 2012
  • reduce the kilometres travelled by single occupancy vehicles in major urban areas on weekdays by ten percent per capita by 2015 compared to 2007

Proposed additional intermediate or detailed targets for 2040

  • identify and remove any barriers to the uptake of plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles that meet appropriate safety standards
  • effective real-time information systems in place to enable road users to plan their journeys to avoid congestion, minimising delay and fuel wastage, by 2015
  • road deaths no more than 200 per annum
  • over 40 percent of the light vehicle fleet to have four star or better4 occupant protection (currently ten to 15 percent) by 2015 and 90 percent by 2040
  • over 25 percent of light vehicles to have electronic stability control (currently less than five percent) by 2015 and 95 percent by 2040
  • lift coastal shipping’s share of inter-regional freight to around 30 percent (currently about 15 percent of tonne-kilometres)
  • lift rail’s share of domestic freight to around 25 percent (currently about 18 percent of tonne-kilometres)
  • increase the public transport mode share of peak hour travel (journeys to work) in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from an average of nine percent to 20 percent and work with each region to optimise peak hour travel targets
  • at least double the overall public transport mode share to seven percent of all passenger trips (currently about two to three percent)
  • increase walking and cycling and other “active modes” to 30 percent of total trips in urban areas (currently about 17 percent)
  • ensure a substantial reduction in premature deaths and serious illnesses arising from air pollution from motor vehicles
  • manage noise to minimise any public health effects
  • no net loss of indigenous vegetation or fauna from infrastructure construction or maintenance

Government agreed targets to reduce harmful emissions from cars and trucks

  • reduce the rated Co2 emissions per kilometre of combined average new and used vehicles entering the light vehicle fleet to 170 grams Co2 per kilometre by2015 (currently around 220 grams Co2 per kilometre), with a corresponding reduction in average fuel used per kilometre
  • ensure 80 percent of the vehicle fleet is capable of using at least a ten percent blend of bio-ethanol or bio-diesel, or is electric powered, by 2015

Proposed additional targets to further reduce harmful emissions from cars and trucks

  • thirty-five percent of the vehicle fleet to have emissions technology consistent with Euro 46 (or equivalent) standard by 2015
  • imported used petrol, LPG, CNG and diesel vehicles (light and heavy) are to be of Euro 4 (or equivalent) standard by 2012
  • imported new petrol, LPG, CNG and diesel vehicles (light and heavy) are to be of Euro 4 (or equivalent) standard by 2009

This is the first time I’ve seen targets laid out so prescriptively. Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places. Anyway, good on New Zealand for putting their targets in the public arena for comment. Now that Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol I hop we will be brave enough to do the same. Soon!

For those interested in responding please fill out this submission form and return to:

or post to:

Sustainable Transport
Ministry of Transport
PO Box 3175
Wellington 6140

The cut-off date for submissions is Friday 15 February 2008.