New Zealand road ownership and management is split between central government which has responsibility for state highways, and local government (district and city councils) which has responsibility for local roads including sealed and unsealed surfaces.
State highways are administered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Of the state highway network, there are 363 km of motorways and expressways which carry 10 per cent of all New Zealand traffic. The majority of the state highway network is made up of single-carriageway roads with one lane each way.
Chipseal is the most common type of road surface in New Zealand.
Since 2013, Waka Kotahi has used the One Network Road Classification (ONRC) system to classify state highways and local roads. There are six categories for New Zealand roads : National; Regional; Arterial; Primary collector; Secondary collector; Access.
The country is around 10 years in to a major roading and infrastructure upgrade programme being driven by Government. There is presently over $5 billion worth of large state highway projects under construction in various locations around the country. Subject to ongoing Government funding there is another $10 billion of major roading projects slated for the next decade.
State highway network
- Total length of state highways – 11,071 km
- Length of North Island state highways – 6130 km
- Length of South Island state highways – 4941 km
Local roading network
- Total length of local roads – 84,609 km
- Total length of urban local roads – 20,071 km
- Total length of rural local roads (sealed) – 33,957 km
- Total length of rural local roads (unsealed) - 30,349 km
- Total length of motorways – 232 km
Forecast roading maintenance expenditure for 2023/2024
- State Highway improvements – $1.05 billion
- State Highway maintenance - $497 million
- Local road maintenance - $430 million
- Capital expenditure – $281 million
3-year National Land Transport Programme roading expenditure - 2021-2024
- Local road improvements - $1.25 billion
- State highway and local road maintenance - $7 billion
- State highway improvements - $2.6 billion
Annual aggregate production statistics for 2021
- Total aggregate production – 24.5 million tonnes
- Total ready-mixed concrete production – 4.5 million cubic metres