What you need to know
The New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is the responsible road controlling authority (RCA) for state highways and local councils are RCAs for local roads.
On 12 December 2023, the Minister of Transport announced amendments to the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 (the Rule) as part of the Government’s 100-day plan commitment to stop blanket speed limit reductions and start work on replacing the Rule. The changes mean that developing speed management plans is no longer mandatory for RCAs - Regional Transport Committees and the NZTA.
The Rule set the regulatory framework designed for RCAs to plan for, consult on and implement speed management changes. The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits Amendment 2023 came into effect on Friday 15 December.
The changes to the Rule revoke the current deadlines and empower the Minister of Transport to set any new deadlines (if necessary) for speed management plans.
The Minister of Transport does not intend to set a new deadline at this stage and has written to RCAs and RTCs to encourage them wait for the new rule before finalising speed management plans.
The Ministry has commenced work on developing a new rule and will provide further updates on process and scope early in 2024.
You can find more information on the Setting of Speed Limits Rule on the NZTA website here.
Publicly consulted on a new draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2021
Between April and June 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi publicly consulted on a new draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2021. This rule will give effect to the new regulatory framework for speed management and will mandate safer speed limits around schools.
Legislation being drafted
Implementing the Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme requires changes to the Land Transport Act 1998, the Land Transport Management Act 2003 and the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017.
Cabinet agreed to the proposed Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme, which will include a framework to improve how councils and Waka Kotahi plan for, consult on and implement speed management changes. It will also mean lowering speed limits around schools and a new approach to safety cameras.
Road to Zero strategy consultation
The Government agreed to consult on the new Road to Zero road safety strategy and initial set of actions. One of the initial actions is to introduce a new approach to tackling unsafe speeds.
We undertook targeted consultation on the Tackling Unsafe Speeds proposals with key transport stakeholders including local government.
Speed Reference Group met
We held workshops with the Speed Reference Group to develop the Tackling Unsafe Speeds proposals. This group was one of the 5 reference groups we worked with as part of developing the Road to Zero road safety strategy.
Local Government Road Safety Summit held
The Associate Minister of Transport held a 1-day Local Government Road Safety Summit in Wellington for more than 100 senior local government representatives from across New Zealand.