New Zealand Roads (Smart Motorways)

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We all rely on roads. Imagine life without well maintained roads.

Why are roads important?

There are many reasons why people need to travel:

  • going to and from school or work
  • fun and leisure
  • taking goods from one place to another.

You can choose to:

  • walk
  • cycle
  • use a motorcycle or car
  • use buses and trains
  • travel by plane.

Wherever you are going it is likely that you will travel on one of New Zealand’s roads. 

Good roads are an important part of society. Our communities work better when: 

  • it is easy for people to travel
  • it is easy to move things around

Roads are a community space. Most of our interactions on the road help keep us safe as we travel.

History of roads

Many roads started out as just tracks that people used to go from one place to another.

The more popular tracks were used by people with their horses and other animals and soon became larger.

In New Zealand many of our roads were once Māori ara or pathways.

What is a road?

 A road can be used for different purposes:

  • footpaths are for pedestrians
  • bridleways (or bridle paths) are for animals
  • carriageways are for wheeled vehicles

Types of roads in New Zealand

There are two types of roads in New Zealand;

  • state highways (including motorways)
  • local roads

State Highways

  • State highways are used to move people and goods nationwide.
  • State Highway 1 runs and connects the entire length of New Zealand. 
  • State highways are managed by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
  • The state highway network has almost 11,000 kilometres of road. 
  • New Zealand’s state highway network is one of our most valuable assets. It is worth $23 billion. 
  • About $2.2 billion is spent each year on maintaining these roads.

Local roads

Local roads are used to move people and goods within regions. They are managed by local councils.

There are 83,000 kilometres of local roads throughout New Zealand. Compared to other countries New Zealand has few people spread over a large area. The length of road per person in New Zealand is one of the highest in the world. 

Better roads can improve safety and save time and money. The development of roads is important for economic growth.

 

Audio Maori keywords: 


  • Samoan keywords

    Samoan keywords: 
    magāala pathway, lane, track
    auala autu main road, highway, motorway, expressway
    auala road
    iti auala side road, branch
    auala street
    Ofisa a Femalagaiga NZ Transport Agency
  • Tongan keywords

    Tongan keywords: 
    halanga pathway, lane, track
    hala lahi main road, highway, motorway, expressway
    hala road
    hala loto side road, branch
    hala loto kolo street
    Potungaue Fefononga'aki NZ Transport Agency
  • Cook Islands Māori keywords

    Cook Islands Maori keywords: 
    ara pathway, lane, track
    ara metua main road, highway, motorway, expressway
    ara road
    ara iti side road, branch
    ara street
    Opati Aka'aere ite au mea Akaoro o Nuti Ran NZ Transport Agency
  • Niuean keywords

    Niuean keywords: 
    tau hala o hui pathway, lane, track
    puhala-tu holo mafiti, puhala-tu lahi main road, highway, motorway, expressway
    puhala-tu road
    kala puhala tu, mafega-hala side road, branch
    puhala street
    Faahi Fakatonu he tau Peleoafi a Niu Silani NZ Transport Agency

Think about how often you use your roads. Imagine how difficult life would be without a well maintained network of roads.

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Wherever you are going it is likely you will travel on one of New Zealand’s many roads. Image: LEARNZ.

Many roads started out as just tracks. The more popular tracks were used by people with their horses and other animals and soon became larger. Image: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23162598.

·       State Highway 1 runs and connects the entire length of New Zealand. Image: Creative Commons.

Andrew and Egbert standing on the side of State Highway 1 in North Canterbury. Image: LEARNZ.

Local roads are used to move people and goods within regions. They are managed by local councils. Image: LEARNZ.

Comments

When a new highway is built,

Comment: 
When a new highway is built, I wonder how much time passes before it needs maintenance?

When roads are good, I wonder

Comment: 
When roads are good, I wonder if drivers speed more?

I wonder if NZ roads are

Comment: 
I wonder if NZ roads are better or worse than the roading network in emerging economic powerhouse nations like Brazil, Russia, India and China.