Skip to: Navigation | Content | Footer

Managing the network

Updated: 27 August 2012

Network management is about making the best use of New Zealand’s roading networks so that people and freight can move efficiently. We do this through efficient management of:

  • assets - the physical road itself and infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, culverts, median barriers, signs, signals, etc.
  • the different ways people use the network - through vehicles, public transport, walking and cycling activities.

Here, you can learn about the key components we manage to achieve a safe and seamless national network for road users.

On this page

Managing the network safely

Safety is a high priority for us and we aim to ensure that the design, construction, maintenance and use of New Zealand’s networks minimise road trauma. We do this work in partnership with road controlling authorities (city and district councils), equipment suppliers and educational and enforcement organisations like ACC (external link) and the New Zealand Police (external link).

Safe system

Under the safe system approach we’re working to develop a road transport system that reduces the impact of human error, and where no road user is exposed to crash forces likely to result in death or serious injury. This work includes road network improvements, setting speeds that match the level of protection offered by the road infrastructure, and improved vehicle design.

Managing motorcycling safety

Download our motorcycling safety guide

'Safer Journeys for Motorcycling on New Zealand Roads' has been developed to provide road controlling authorities, practitioners and policy makers with best practice advice to help identify, target and address key road safety issues on high-risk motorcycle routes. It includes a range of countermeasures to assist road designers and engineers in developing appropriate best practice treatments to address road sections that are high-risk for motorcyclists.

This guide is one of many motorcycling safety initiatives being carried out by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to improve safety for motorcyclists across New Zealand. It is a living document which will be revised over time to ensure the information remains accurate and up-to-date. Questions and comments can be emailed to

Managing safety on high-risk rural roads

Crashes on rural roads are a serious issue in New Zealand. The social and economic costs are high. The government’s road safety strategy Safer Journeys signals that more must be done to improve safety on our high-risk rural roads.

As a result we have prepared a guide that provides guidance on the government’s Safer Journeys 2020 Strategy initiative to focus efforts on high-risk rural roads.

The High-risk rural road guide was developed to assist road controlling authorities in targeting road safety improvements on the highest risk sections of New Zealand’s rural roads (those with a posted speed limit of 80km/h or more) by using best value for money initiatives and providing a nationally consistent application of proven countermeasures.

The guide introduces a new way to identify high-risk road sections and, using the Safe System approach, provides best practice guidance on targeting and addressing key road safety issues on high-risk rural roads.

A draft guide was issued in April. Many supportive comments and helpful suggestions were received and have been incorporated into this release of the guide.

The guide is a living document. As new countermeasures are developed and trialled, and we gain more experience with the use of the guide and the Safe System approach, we intend to revise the guide to keep it up-to-date.

Road controlling authorities can identify sections of high-risk rural roads by using various methods. The KiwiRAP (external link) Risk Maps released in 2008 and the Star Ratings released in 2010 are a good starting place for the state highways. Road controlling authorities can also use the CAS database to identify local road sections with a record of high severity crashes or any RISA analysis to identify sections with a high risk potential. NZTA has also produced some risk maps for a number of local roads with corridors that have more than five fatal and serious crashes within 10 years.

For more information on the guide see:

Safety management systems

Safety management systems encourage road controlling authorities to adopt safety management systems. These systems ensure that decisions about construction, maintenance and management of road networks, consider safety and help achieve targets and goals identified in national and local road safety strategies.

Learn more about safety management systems.

Managing public transport

Public transport, including buses, trains and ferries, is a key mode of transport for thousands of New Zealanders. We’re working to ensure that New Zealand’s public transport networks are managed efficiently, are safe, and provide best value for money on investment. Our key management activities include:

  • providing guidance for the development of regional public transport plans
  • promoting best practice public transport network design
  • developing and implementing urban bus quality standards.

Learn more about how we’re working to improve the effectiveness of public transport.

Managing walking and cycling networks

Our objectives in managing walking and cycling networks are to:

  • alleviate congestion
  • help improve travel times for all road users
  • provide a health, economic and environmentally friendly travel option for New Zealanders.

Learn more about how we’re providing for these facilities.

Managing through standards, guidelines and rules

We develop standards, guidelines and rules to ensure that all the country’s road controlling authorities have the framework and guidance needed to manage the assets and activities on their transport networks consistently. This achieves a safe and seamless national network for road users. A cross-sector steering group - Register of Standards and Guidelines & Traffic Control Devices Steering Group - oversees this work.

Information and resources include:

Managing procurement

Our procurement approach aims to help the land transport sector obtain added value for money from long-term strategic thinking in contracting for projects and services.

Learn more about the NZTA's procurement environment.

Managing assets

We use a strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining, upgrading and expanding physical assets to manage the effectiveness of transportation assets throughout their life cycle. This work involves applying business and engineering practices to resource allocation and use, to ensure our decisions are based on quality information and well-defined objective, as defined by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Subcommittee on Asset Management.

Activity management plans

Activity management plans are expected to identify the assets required for current and future land transport activities and demonstrate:

  • how transport demand will be assessed and managed
  • how asset condition will be monitored
  • what levels of service are being provided
  • what standards have to be met
  • how asset maintenance, renewal and replacement will be undertaken (including procurement)
  • the estimated future costs associated with providing any identified extra capacity needs and replacement and maintenance of existing assets
  • how these land transport activity costs will be met.

Related links