Consultation is now closed, and we thank you for your feedback.  Any changes to our fees and charges to pay for better regulation will be implemented on or before October 2023. 

For updates, see link)

About the consultation

Consultation on proposed changes to our regulatory funding and fees closed on Friday 13 May 2022. We asked for feedback on proposed changes to fees, charges, and funding for regulatory services provided by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and our agents, like AA, NZ Post, and your local mechanic. These services include things like driver licences, vehicle licensing and registration, Warrants of Fitness (WoF), and Certificates of Fitness (CoF), along with wider regulation of the land transport system.

Video: Better regulation = better safety on our roads

What Waka Kotahi does

We all use roads to get to and from the places we want to go, and you might already know that Waka Kotahi looks after New Zealand’s state highway network. But did you know we also make sure the vehicles on our roads (like cars, trucks, and buses) are safe, and that the people driving them know what they’re doing? That’s our job as the lead regulator for the land transport system.

We have many different responsibilities, looking after:

  • driver testing services (making sure drivers are safe to be on the roads)
  • issuing driver licences and transport service licences (TSL) — to carry goods, passengers, and other things
  • vehicle certification (warrant of fitness (WoF) and certificate of fitness (CoF) making sure vehicles are safe to be on the road
  • vehicle registration and licensing (new licence plates and annual rego)
  • collecting road user charges (RUC) and other money for roads
  • supporting Police and other agencies to regulate speed and enforce safety on New Zealand’s roads.

We also regulate rail, but rail isn’t part of this consultation.

What's outside the scope for this consultation

We also make many of the rules (regulations) for people who drive vehicles and businesses that inspect them, and we make sure those rules are being followed. 

We don’t do some of this work ourselves. We work with businesses (‘agents’) that act on our behalf to provide services and help us make sure others are following the rules.  You might visit one of our agents to get your driver licence or a warrant of fitness for your car, for example. Our agents include large organisations like AA, VTNZ, VINZ, and New Zealand Post, companies like eRoad who are agents for RUC, and smaller businesses like your local garage that issues WoFs. We monitor and audit the performance of our agents to make sure they’re doing a good job.

Why regulation is important

How our work is currently paid for

All the work we do costs money. The money that pays for our work currently comes from:

  • fees (like the amount you pay when you apply for a driver licence)
  • charges paid by groups in the transport industry to contribute to the cost of regulating them
  • government funding for things that benefit all New Zealanders, eg a subsidy to make licence renewals more affordable for older drivers.

Better regulation means better safety on our roads. We’re consulting on changes to our funding, fees, and charges to fund better regulation.

Why we reviewed our fees, charges and funding

In 2019, two independent reviews of our regulatory function found gaps and system weaknesses were contributing factors in the death of a passenger travelling in a car that had just got a WoF.

One of those reviews also said we didn’t have enough money to do our job properly.

So we looked at our fees, charges, and funding to see whether the money we get for doing our work covers the costs of doing the work. For example, if it costs us $25 to provide a service, we should be charging $25 for that service. 

We hadn’t done a full review of all our fees and charges since Waka Kotahi was set up in 2008. Some of the fees were set many years ago.

We found that the money we get for doing our work does not cover the costs of doing the work. Right now, we are charging too much for some services, and not enough for others. And that’s what we’re trying to fix.

Fees and funding review

What we need to happen

We need to make sure we have enough money to do our job properly, and we now know exactly how much it costs us to do our job as regulator properly.

We need $100 million more each year than we get right now from fees, charges, and government funding.

We’re suggesting a new funding model where people pay the right amounts for the services they’re getting.  Under this new model some fees and charges would go up, some would go down, and some costs of regulation would be paid in other ways (eg through government funding).

We’re asking people to tell us what they think about these changes. 

About the new proposed funding model

The changes we’re suggesting

We’re suggesting changes to government funding, and lots of changes to the amounts we charge for our services.

To make it easier to understand all the changes and what it might mean for you, we’ve grouped similar fees or charges into ‘proposals’. For example, changes to driver licensing and testing fees are grouped under Proposal 2.

Proposal 1 is a bit different. This proposal asks if you think some money that comes from fuel tax, road user charges, and motor vehicle licensing should be used to pay for some of the work Waka Kotahi does to make sure the system operates well and safely, and to pay back some of the money we've borrowed to help fix problems. If we don’t get the funding suggested in this proposal, we would need to get it from fees and charges, and all the numbers in Proposals 2–8 would increase.

All the proposals together make up the new funding model.

Proposal list

The following web pages summarises each proposal. 

Proposed changes to funding

Proposal 1: Recommended allocation of land transport revenue for regulatory activities

Proposed changes to fees and charges

Proposal 2: Changes to driver licence and driver testing fees

Proposal 3: Changes to motor vehicle licence and registration fees

Proposal 4: Changes to fees for road user charges administration

Proposal 5: Changes to transport service licence holder fees and charges

Proposal 6: Changes to fees and charges for motor vehicle certifier activities

Proposal 7: Changes to charges for commercial users and councils that access Waka Kotahi data

Proposal 8: Changes to fees and charges for eRUC providers

Fact sheets

You can find more information about all the proposals, the costs we have to pay, and details about the suggested changes to our fees and charges in the consultation document. We also have fact sheets to help you understand how you might be affected by these changes.

Provide feedback

Related information

Glossary of terms used in the consultation 

How would proposed changes affect me?

Frequently asked questions