A $665 million transport investment in the Bay of Plenty has received mixed reviews.

The funding will be allocated over the next three years as part of a $16.9 billion investment in New Zealand's transport system set out in the 2018/21 National Land Transport Programme published today.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the Bay of Plenty funding was up 6 per cent on the 2015/18 programme, and 14 per cent from 2012/15.

"The increasing number of people dying on Bay of Plenty roads is unacceptable," he said.


Projects receiving funding in Rotorua included State Highway 33 Paengaroa to Te Ngae Rd safety improvements, completing the CyWay network, and stage 1 safety improvement investigations on the SH30 eastern corridor between Sala St and Iles Rd.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said "it looks like all funded projects listed for Rotorua are already under way".

"It feels like Rotorua has missed out, I cannot see anything new for us here," the National MP said.

"I think it is a disappointment that these projects have been sitting on the books for some time. I am yet to see commitment from the government for new transport infrastructure in Rotorua."

Traffic on Te Ngae Rd, SH30, in 2018. Photo/File
Traffic on Te Ngae Rd, SH30, in 2018. Photo/File

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she "we look forward to seeing the further funding breakdowns".

"We've worked very hard during the past few years to pull Rotorua out of the doldrums and change the trajectory the district was on – and we're now seeing investment, population and economic growth, and interest from central Government."

She said ongoing investment was needed for growth to continue.

"Te Ngae Rd, for instance, is a key transport corridor – for locals, for visitors, for key industry like forestry and for freight movements to and from the Port of Tauranga."


The National Land Transport Programme's Bay of Plenty summary highlighted that "Medium to high population growth is projected across the western Bay of Plenty and Rotorua".

It stated that in Rotorua, 90 per cent of people travel in single occupancy private vehicles to work, above the national average of 79.5 per cent.

The programme also said the Bay of Plenty needed "safe and reliable journeys for the growing number of visitors".

"Tourism is also a key economic driver for Rotorua, one of the country's top five tourist destinations."

Nationally, regional roads received $5.8b of funding in the programme announcement - a $600m increase.

Phil Twyford said "Most roading investment will go to the regions, rather than the big cities. This reverses the situation in the last three years".

State highways received the largest share of funding, with a total of $5.7b.

Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement welcomed the funding.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners as part of the Road Safety Partnership to prevent death and serious injury on our roads," he said.

"Police focus is on prevention and enforcement activities around the four main behaviours we know contribute to death and injury on our roads. These are: driving too fast for the conditions, driving while impaired (by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue), driving while distracted, and not being properly restrained."