The draft New Zealand Rail Plan (the draft Rail Plan) outlines the Government’s long-term vision and priorities for New Zealand’s national rail network. It is a product of the recommendations of the Future of Rail review which is a cross-agency project led by the Ministry of Transport (the Ministry), working alongside KiwiRail, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and the Treasury. Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council were engaged in relation to their metropolitan rail networks. The Government has agreed to key recommendations from the review, incorporating them into the draft Rail Plan.

The Future of Rail review sought to identify the role rail can play in New Zealand’s transport system and put in place a sustainable approach to funding rail over the longer-term. A key part of this is considering how to better integrate rail into the overall planning and funding approach for the land transport system, so rail is maintained alongside other transport modes.

Previous investment in New Zealand’s rail network has lacked a long-term view about rail’s role in the transport system, and has resulted in a continued focus on short-term investment decision making. We need a new approach to planning and funding rail that supports it to play its role in the transport system.

This is a significant programme of change for the land transport system and will be implemented over the next two years, with the intention that it come into effect in line with the next National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). It will also inform funding decisions in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) 2021 and future Budget decisions.

The Draft New Zealand Rail Plan [PDF, 5.2 MB]

The Future of Rail and Investment to Support a Resilient and Reliable Rail System [PDF, 2.8 MB]

Future of Rail 

We welcome your feedback 

We welcome feedback on the strategic investment priorities detailed in the draft Rail Plan. Unfortunately, formal engagement has been cancelled in response to COVID-19. Instead, you can watch our presentation online.

Watch the draft Rail Plan presentation

Once you have viewed the video, if you have any questions, or require further information, please direct all enquiries to: We will endeavour to respond to your query promptly.

You’re invited to share your views by taking the online survey, or sending a written submission by email or post

The Ministry is inviting stakeholders and the wider public to give feedback until 5pm, Monday 11 May 2020 (note this has been extended from the original deadline of 5pm, Monday 27 April).

Complete the Draft Rail Plan Survey(external link)

Email your submission to:

Note: If you are planning to email submissions through an automated process or online petition platform please first email to ensure your submissions are correctly recognised and considered.

Or post your submission to:

Ministry of Transport
PO Box 3175
Attn: draft Rail Plan team

Your submission is public information

We will publish a summary of submissions after the engagement period has closed and submissions have been analysed. If you do not want your name or any identifying information to be included in anything we publish (including because you believe your comments are commercially sensitive) please indicate this clearly in your submission.

Note that your submission is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). This means other people will be able to obtain copies of submissions by making a request under the OIA. If you think there are grounds for your information to be withheld under the OIA, note this in your submission. We will take your reasons into account and may consult with you when responding to requests under the OIA. The Ministry may also be required to share submissions with a Parliamentary Select Committee. The Ministry will first consider, for example, whether the submissions contain personal or commercially sensitive information.

All submissions will be public records and will be held for a time period required by the Public Records Act 2005, then destroyed.

GPS 2021

You may also wish to provide feedback on the GPS 2021

Draft Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021(external link)

Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill

In order to implement this new long-term planning and funding system, we are also making changes to the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (the LTMA). The legislative process will allow for public feedback on the amendments to enable the new planning and funding framework outlined in Section 2 of the draft Rail Plan.  The draft Rail Plan outlines the changes being made to the LTMA.

Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill(external link)