Some local governments have already begun implementing their own zero road death policies but are looking for support from central government, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter says.

Genter heard from local government, including mayors, earlier this week when she hosted a local government road safety summit in Wellington.

"We heard that there is strong support for the Vision Zero approach. In fact some local authorities have already starting implementing it themselves but they need that support from central government," Genter told reporters today.

There was also strong support for safe walking and cycling and for their prioritisation in urban areas.


But she said change would be slow as previous policies had led to increased car dependence and more congestion, deaths and injuries on the roads, and fewer people walking and cycling.

"We need to change those policies first so that we can support the incremental change to our built environments," she said.

Asked how soon it would be before people started seeing those changes to encourage walking and cycling, she said there had been some investment in cycleways already but the Government would look to see how it could accelerate the rollout and support local government to do that.

"Some of the hang-ups with some of the proposed separated cycleways have been that they haven't been the best design, so we need better design."

She also reiterated her support for lower speed limits and "that doesn't take long to change at all".

Genter was speaking in Parliament's forecourt this morning as she accepted a petition of more than signatures from the Cycle Action Network (CAN) calling on the Government to make cycling safer and save lives.

Patrick Morgan of CAN said his organisation supported Genter's Vision Zero policy.

"A road system that is free from death and serious injuries. It sounds really audacious. They said the same thing about making smokefree bars, but this is how change happens. Change is happening and we're here to support that."


CAN says 18 people on bikes were killed last year. Its petition asks the Government and councils to act urgently to build safe cycle infrastructure in cities and towns, set safer traffic speeds, educate drivers and people on bikes.

Genter said she wanted to see more people cycling.

"I would like to see it normal for kids to walk and cycle to school and I would like to see that within our towns and cities that cycling is seen as an easy, comfortable, enjoyable, safe option for getting to the shops, getting to work, for people travelling shorter distances."

Genter announced the Vision Zero policy at the local government summit this week, saying a new road safety strategy was being developed and the Government would consider options such as was which included options such as improving the safety of vehicles entering New Zealand, reducing speeds around schools and mandatory alcohol interlock device systems for repeat drink-drivers.