Transport and infrastructure
After years of underspending on transport infrastructure, and with widespread dissatisfaction with urban planning laws, all the parties agree that the way we design our cities and transport systems needs to change. Some say the emphasis should be on making it easier for developers to build, while others say we need a clearer plan to prepare our cities for climate change.
Political parties of all stripes plan for more infrastructure, but the capability of the construction sector is key to anything getting built. But as well as reducing time and cost, NZ buildings will have to deal with the challenges of extreme weather and a changing climate.
Urban planning and resource management
Most parties agree that reform is needed to the Resource Management Act (RMA) – the law that governs how land can be used. But there is little agreement on what this reform should look like. Some say the focus should be on reducing development costs, while others say the priority should be on making our cities more liveable and resilient.
Cars and roads
This election there are many proposals for particular roading projects, big and small. With transport accounting for over 15 percent of NZ's greenhouse gas emissions there are also policies to reduce vehicle emissions.
Internet and telecommunications
The internet is NZ's window to the world. But the rise of multinational tech companies has had big impacts on local industries. Some parties say the tech giants aren't paying a fair share of tax.
The current government aims to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 but some parties say not enough is yet being done to make that target a reality. Others say that recent decisions to ban oil and gas exploration were a mistake.
Transport funding and planning
Transport infrastructure is expensive but lasts a long time and benefits many generations. Competing approaches to funding transport — whether its the use of fuel taxes or general government borrowing — put the cost on different groups of people.
Public transport, cycling and walking
As NZ's cities grow, demand for public transport has outstripped projections and the government is scrambling to catch up. Cycling and pedestrian infrastructure has become a priority for local government around the country.
Rail was once the backbone of NZ's transport system but recent decades have seen rail infrastructure fall into decline and roads become king. But many are now turning back to rail as a solution to both address climate change and reduce congestion in our cities.