Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says increases in vehicle travel and vehicle registrations reflect New Zealand's economic recovery and growing population.
"Total travel [measured in kilometres travelled] was flat between 2005 and 2012, but growth returned in 2013 with a 1.6 per cent increase in total travel nationwide, and more recent data suggests larger increases are on the way," Mr Brownlee says.
"Data collected by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on State Highway usage from the first six months of 2014 suggests we will continue to see increases in travel demand.
"The highway data shows a 3.6 per cent increase in Northland and Auckland, and a 5.4 per cent increase in Canterbury in the six months to May 2014, compared with the same period a year before.
"The Ministry of Transport's fleet statistics show light vehicle ownership per capita has returned to its 2007 peak, helping grow traffic volumes in 2013 and 2014.
"Growth in the light vehicle fleet and record sales of new light vehicles in 2013 and higher levels in 2014 reflects the economic recovery, consumer confidence and net migration.
"As a government we've begun addressing a multi-decade roading infrastructure deficit to improve connectivity, productivity and safety, and these figures confirm that investment was long overdue," Mr Brownlee says.