The land transport system is made up of railways, roads, footpaths and cycleways. In their daily lives, people rely on transport to access jobs, schools, shops, friends and leisure pursuits.

Businesses rely on transport to gain access to raw materials and final products to market. Service industries need transport to bring people together to generate new ideas and economic opportunities.

The land transport system in the Bay of Plenty faces major challenges:

  • Emissions of greenhouse gases from cars and trucks, which have nearly doubled since 1990.
  • A poor road safety record – with over 800 people killed or seriously injured in the last five years.
  • Increasing levels of traffic congestion and delays to bus services in our major urban areas – especially Tauranga and Rotorua.
  • Increasing instances of road closure and travel disruption due to adverse weather.

The draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) explains what we propose to do about these challenges, and sets out:

  • Objectives and targets for improving how people and goods move across the region.
  • A 10-year transport strategy based on key transport priorities of climate change, safety, network resilience and better transport choices.
  • A prioritised 6-year investment programme which aims to maintain and improve the Bay of Plenty transport network in line with the objectives and priorities.
  • Arrangements for delivery and monitoring of the investment programme.

This is the opportunity to have your say on the draft RLTP.

The draft Regional Land Transport Plan in the Document Library can be found in the Document Library on this site or online at

Have your say on:

  • A more sustainable focus

    The draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021 aims to shift the focus of our investment strategy to better provide for alternative modes of transport (buses, walking, cycling and micro-mobility) and move away from continued car dependency.

    Do you think this is a positive shift, and what do you think the key priorities should be?

  • The challenges of Climate Change

    The impacts of climate change – such as extreme weather and sea level rise – pose a significant challenge to our region.

    Do you think the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021 does enough to support changing the way we travel, improve network resilience, provide more sustainable forms of transport, and assist in reducing emissions to contribute to our climate change responsibilities?

  • Alternative modes of transport

    The draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021 includes a number of projects within the list of activities that aim to reflect a desire to further utilise alternative modes of transport and mitigate the effects of climate change.

    Do you think the list of activities will help to achieve these desires?

  • Your thoughts

    Other thoughts on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan.

    Do you have any other comments you would like to make regarding the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021? Are there any transport opportunities we have missed, or you think should have more emphasis?

About the Plan

The RLTP outlines and prioritises project proposals for investment in the region’s land transport network.

The Plan must be consistent with central government’s four investment priorities for land transport – safety, better travel options, climate change and improving freight connections.

Through the RLTP, investment contributions are sought via Waka Kotahi’s National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). The projects range from road safety, public transport, walking and cycling and road improvements to support the 30-year vision of the region’s transport system.

The RLTP programme will be submitted to Waka Kotahi, and projects prioritised for inclusion in the NLTP – which will be published in August 2021. Councils will also be making provision for funding in their respective Long Term Plans (LTPs). The presence of a project in the RLTP is no guarantee of funding.

The RLTP follows Waka Kotahi’s approach to investment – prioritising integrated planning, demand management, and network optimisation approaches before investing in expensive new infrastructure.

Waka Kotahi investment hierarchy

Waka Kotahi investment hierarchy

The big picture

Our vision for the Bay of Plenty transport system is:

“Our transport system is sustainable, resilient, efficient and enables safe and multimodal access that meets the needs of our diverse, growing communities and regional economy”.

This vision is supported by five main themes and objectives and policies:

Objective 1: No people are killed or seriously injured on the region’s transport system.

Objective 2: The health damaging effects of transport are minimised, such as noise, air pollution and stormwater run-off.

Objective 3: We encourage and support our communities to make healthy transport choices.

The Bay of Plenty has adopted the Government’s Road to Zero Strategy for improving safety on the region’s transport system. Our regional approach goes beyond preventing deaths and serious injuries to include the promotion and improvement of health outcomes for all our communities.

Target: 40 percent reduction in deaths and serious injuries, from 2020 levels, by 2030 on the region’s road network.

Objective 4: The environmental effects, including emissions, arising from the use of the transport system are minimised.

Environmental sustainability is about managing, operating, and developing the region’s transport system in a way that reduces environmental impacts and supports mitigating the impacts of climate change.

As a signatory to the Local Government Leaders Climate Change Declaration, the region is committed to transitioning to a low-carbon transport system. A commitment has also been made to reduce transport related impacts on biodiversity, water and air quality.

Target: Reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector by a minimum of 25 percent by 2030, from a 2020 base, on the path to net carbon zero by 2050.
(to be reviewed in the light of the climate emergency declaration)

Objective 5: Communities have access to an inclusive and reliable transport system that provides them with a range of travel choices to meet their social, economic, health and cultural needs.

Ensuring people can access the places where they live, work and play is an essential function of any transport system. Being responsive to the diverse needs of our communities by providing travel choices, reducing the need and distance to travel, and ensuring transport networks are fit for purpose, are critical to wellbeing of our communities.

Target: Increase mode share for public transport and active modes to 20 percent of all urban trips by 2030.

Objective 6: The transport system enables people and goods to move efficiently and reliably to, from and throughout the region.

With an export-based economy, the success of our region relies on the efficient and reliable movement of people and goods. With some parts of the region under significant growth pressures, achieving this objective will require the transport system to be integrated with good planning. Providing access to emerging areas of economic opportunities will be important.

Target: Maintain or improve travel time predictability, from a 2020 baseline, for freight movements on the primary freight network (road and rail) inter-peak by 2030.

Objective 7: The transport system can respond to, adapt, and rapidly recover from unplanned events and hazards.

Our region is exposed to several hazards, including flooding, sea level rise and landslides. Minimising and managing the risks of hazards on our transport system; anticipating and adapting to emerging threats; and recovering effectively from disruptive events on the transport system, including vehicle crashes is vital for our communities and economy.

Target: Reduce the average number of hours that sections of National or Regional strategic routes are closed on an annual basis to be less than 60 hours per year by 2030

The policies that describe how partners will achieve the RLTP objectives can be found in the draft Regional Land Transport Plan in the Document Library on this site or online at

cyclists and pedestrians


The region has identified five key priorities – which align with the RLTP objectives – and are necessary to progress towards the RLTP vision. These include:

Improving environmental sustainability

31% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay of Plenty are from land transport. Carbon emissions from transport have more than doubled since 1990. Declaration of a climate emergency requires a 45% cut in greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030. Significant action to both mitigate and adapt to climate change needs to happen now.

Improving resilience within the transport system

The region is expected to face an increase in the frequency and severity of weather events related to the effects of climate change. The proximity of key transport routes in the region to areas that are likely to be affected by climate change and natural hazards will curtail the ability to provide safe and predictable access. As the risk of unplanned network closures increases, due to increasing frequency and severity of weather events, the resilience of our transport system is expected to decline over time, without intervention.

Reducing road deaths and serious injuries

Over the 5-year period between 2014 and 2019, 816 people were killed or seriously injured when travelling on the region’s roads. Deaths and serious injuries (DSIs) should not be an inevitable cost of car travel. The Bay of Plenty region is aiming to implement the Government’s Road to Zero strategy and subsequent vision of a future where no one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes.

road deaths and injuries graph

Improving multimodal access and choice

A core function of the transport system is to provide people with access to a range of travel options that enable safe movement between locations. Multi-modal access is important:

  • For providing people with transport choices, including those who do not have access to a private car.
  • To enable development of safe, sustainable, and liveable communities which are not dominated by moving or parked vehicles.
  • To promote active travel and the health benefits of walking and cycling.
  • To reduce emissions of local air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Supporting regional growth

The Bay of Plenty region is growing rapidly. The population of the region is predicted to increase by almost 180,000 by 2040. Transport investment can support existing businesses, and the creation of new employment opportunities with a network which is efficient and resilient. This transport investment is intended to promote well-connected communities and accessible transport choices for the benefit of all the community.

How much do we spend?

The draft RLTP outlines the annual average $290 million of activities. Funding is built through Councils’ Long Term Plans and funding applications to Waka Kotahi.

For a full list of committed and proposed activities, please refer to the draft RLTP in the Document Library.

Below highlights some of the proposed activities by sub-region. Some activities are not on the list because they already have funding committed.

Western Bay of Plenty

  • Hewletts Road sub-area accessibility improvements – $1 million for business case, $111 million indicative overall cost.
  • Tauranga combined bus services and supporting infrastructure and confirmation of a preferred public transport network – $350,000 business case.
  • Low cost, low risk: Community roading projects, stock underpass, guardrails and seal widening improvements – $23.4 million
  • Design and consenting to enable growth in Tauriko west – an identified regional growth cell – $12.4 million
  • Design and consenting of the preferred Totara Street multi-modal improvements – $4 million in addition to the previously funded shared path.
  • Low cost, low risk: Walking and cycling improvements, wayfinding and signage upgrades, bus shelters and improved access, drainage and safety, and intersection improvements – $75.926 million
  • Tauranga and Western Bay bus service improvements – $1.4 million


  • Rotorua bus service improvements – $50,000 - indicative business case.
  • Low cost, low risk: Safety improvements including those in the CBD, shared paths, traffic management and bus shelter upgrades – $8.728 million
  • Safety improvement package for the Cookson Road and State Highway 30 and 33 area – $7.33 million

Eastern Bay of Plenty

  • Improving Keepa Road between State Highway 30 and the Kopeopeo East Canal bridge to cater for surrounding changes in land use – $3.7 million
  • Low cost, low risk: Physical works associated with road drainage and widening and resilience and revitalisation projects – $1.856 million
  • Safety improvement package for State Highway 35 Wainui Road to Wakanui Road – $8.04 million
  • Low cost, low risk: Shared path works, walking and cycling improvements, realignments, intersection and collector road improvements, seal extensions and cattle underpass and power upgrades – $17.126 million
  • Safety improvements to the Blueberry Curves, a section of Thornton Road – $3.8 million

Region wide

Public transport service enhancements, commuter and tertiary services, travel behaviour change, on bus technology, stock effluent site and electric bus infrastructure $24.548 million