Bay of Plenty confirms 10-Year Regional Land Transport Plan

In News5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 5, 2024

A blueprint for a ‘connected, resilient, and vibrant’ region has been adopted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council – setting the strategic direction for the region’s transport system over the next decade.

As well as providing a strategic view, the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024-2034, Te Mahere tūnuku ā-papa ā-rohe, takes a long-term view on what might happen in the region in the future.

The Plan is the way the Bay of Plenty seeks Central Government funding for transport activities and is a requirement under the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

Councillor Lyall Thurston, Chair of the Regional Transport Committee, said as the region continues to grow, it faces several transport challenges that it is ready to tackle.

“This Plan is more than a document; it’s a blueprint for a connected, resilient, and vibrant Bay of Plenty,” said Thurston. ”We need significant investment to build a transport network that our community can rely on.”

The plan prioritises tackling traffic congestion, supporting public transport connections to affordable housing, addressing transport access for smaller and isolated communities, enhancing road safety and improving the resilience of the transport network against climate change.

Key Projects

The plan has identified a number of key projects to be considered for funding by New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi.

 Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty:

  • SH29A Package of Works: Including Stage 3 Tauriko West PT corridor and improvements ($71.9 million) and Omanawa Bridge Stage 2 ($252 million), aimed at improving daily commutes.
  • Connecting Mount Maunganui: Enhancements along Hewletts Road ($43.6 million) to support local businesses and improve port access.


  • Urbanisation of SH30A Corridor: Upgrading SH30 and Amohau Street ($36.6 million) for safer family routes.
  • Malfoy Road / SH5: Upgrade to the intersection ($150k) for safety and to enable housing supply.

Eastern Bay of Plenty:

  • Additional River Crossing: A business case for an additional river crossing to support Whakatāne’s growth ($500k).
  • Ōpōtiki Town Entrance Intersection Improvements: Enhancing local infrastructure ($300k) for safer travel.


  • National Ticketing Solution: Standardising public transport payments ($2.79 million).
  • Transition to Zero-Emission Public Transport: Reducing transport emissions ($1.38 million).

Addressing transport challenges

“Meeting these challenges requires a transformative approach to transport investment,” said Thurston.

“We are excited about the potential for innovative funding methods that can support the scale of investment needed over the next decade.

“For instance, delivering the SH29/29A Western Growth Corridor within 10 years is an ambitious goal, comparable to the total funding received from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) for 2021-24.

“We appreciate that this would be a sizable investment, but it would help us take significant steps to prevent gridlock, enhance housing affordability, and reduce carbon emissions, ensuring a thriving and sustainable future for our region.”

Key community insights

Oliver Haycock, Public Transport Director, says there were a number of key themes that came through from the community during the development of the plan.

Managing Growth: Concerns about congestion due to rapid growth. The need for careful urban planning to support our communities was a common theme.

Public Transport: There was strong support for improving public transport services and infrastructure to make travel more accessible and efficient.

Freight Movement: Efficiently managing freight to support local businesses and the economy was a priority for many.

“We’ve taken your concerns seriously, and this plan reflects your input and our commitment to creating a better transport system,” said Haycock.

“We thank you for your feedback and look forward to working with the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi to secure the necessary investment.”

The plan, crafted with community input, will be sent to the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi for funding consideration. Funding decisions will be published in the National Land Transport Programme, which is anticipated to be released in September 2024.