Most travel time is spent in motor vehicles
In 2011–14, New Zealanders spent 1,257 million hours travelling in motor vehicles (cars, vans or motorcycles). This is about 79% of the total hours spent travelling (Figure 1).
About 15% of total travel time was spent using active transport (walking or cycling). A further 4% was spent on public transport (public bus, train or ferry).
Figure 1: Time spent travelling by different transport modes each year, total New Zealand population, 2011-14 (percent of total hours travelled, %)
Little change over time in transport mode use
There has been little change in travel time by mode of transport from 2003–06 to 2011–14 (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Percentage of total travel time spent travelling by mode of transport, 2003-06 to 2011-14 (%)
Younger and older people use active/public transport more
In 2011–14, people aged 5–24 years and 75+ years spent the highest percentage of travel time using active transport, at about 20% (Figure 3). Young people aged 5–24 years spent 8–10% of their travel time on public transport.
By contrast, adults aged 25–64 years spent the smallest percentage of total travel time using active transport (11–13%) or public transport (2–3%).
Figure 3: Use of active and public transport, as a percentage of total travel time, by age group (years), 2011-14 (% of total hours travelled)
Large regional differences in travel modes used
Active transport (walking or cycling) was used the most by people living in the following regions (Figure 4):
- Otago (17%)
- Gisborne (16%)
- Wellington (16%)
- Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman (16%)
By contrast, people in the following regions used active transport the least: Southland (8%), Waikato (9%), Bay of Plenty (10%) and Northland (11%).
Public transport had the highest use in Wellington (7% of total travel time), Auckland (5%) and Southland (5%).
Figure 4: Use of active and public transport, as a percentage of total travel time, by regional council, 2011-14 (% of total hours travelled)
Information about the data
Household travel time by mode of transport
Source: New Zealand Household Travel Survey, Ministry of Transport
Definition: The amount of household travel time spent travelling by transport mode, as a percentage of total household travel time (in hours) spent travelling per year, for the population aged 5+ years. For this indicator, household travel excludes professional driver trips, that is, those trips done to transport goods or people as a professional driver.
For more information, visit the Ministry of Transport's webpage on the New Zealand Household Travel Survey.
For access to the data, visit Statistics New Zealand's NZ.Stat website, and look under the 'Transport' section.