Proposal 5: Changes to TSL holder fees and charges

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)

Summary of Proposal 5

There are around 108,000 Transport Service Licence (TSL) holders. Whether you're an individual or a company, you must hold the appropriate TSL if you're operating a goods service, large or small passenger service, vehicle recovery service or rental service.

The TSL should be held by whoever’s operating the licence, paying vehicle costs and the costs of the operation. Each vehicle must display a TSL in its windscreen. The licence shows you’re ‘fit’ to operate such a service, and that you know and understand the laws and practices you need for safe and proper operation of a transport service.

You must have a Goods Service Licence (GSL) to transport commercial goods. There are around 26,000 active GSL holders.

You must have a Passenger Service Licence to transport people. There are around 1,900 active large passenger service licence holders (eg bus companies), and 11,300 active small passenger service licence holders, mostly taxis and ride-sharing organisations. 

Some TSL holders have more than one vehicle.

Waka Kotahi issues TSL and provides TSL holder services through a variety of channels, including mail, email, phone, and through contracted over-the-counter agents like NZ Post, VTNZ and AA. Online services are provided through the Waka Kotahi customer service centre. 

We provide standards and guidelines, industry engagement, education, compliance monitoring activities (on-site audits, fleet audits, investigations), and enforcement activities (suspensions, revocations, infringements and prosecutions) to make sure that this sector of industry operates safely and fairly.  Under this proposal the costs of providing these services would be reflected in the TSL licence charges.

We’re planning to increase the level of service to TSL holders to include the costs associated with regulating potential and actual carrying of dangerous goods on General and Rental vehicles.

Why are we proposing these changes?

The current fees and charges don’t reflect the cost to regulate and provide TSL services. 

We’re proposing the introduction of different charges for TSL holders by type to reflect the costs of regulatory activities and risks in this area. High risk activities require more oversight or regulation. The Funding and Fees Review identified TSL holders as a group that was being subsidised by all driver and motor vehicle licence payers. Until the changes are made, TSL transactions will continue to be cross-subsidised from driver and motor vehicle licence fees. This isn’t fair.

The Funding and Fees Review also identified that dangerous goods are often carried either by TSL holders or in vehicles owned by them (eg a van rented from a TSL holder). The proposed dangerous goods costs are being recovered on goods vehicles (GSL holders) and rental vehicles (RSL holders), as they’re the licence classes most likely to carry dangerous goods. Dangerous goods create risks that need to be minimised, and one way to minimise the harm is to strengthen compliance monitoring and interventions.

How and when would changes take place?

Changes to give effect to the above proposals would be through new regulations, or amending or replacing the Transport Services Licensing Regulations 1989, with effect on or before October 2023.

Tables - Fees and charges affected by Proposal 5

There are 7 fees in this section. They are summarised in the table below.

What is the proposed change?

How many changes are there?

What fees and charges are subject to this change?

Fee goes up


Table 13

Fee goes down


Table 14

Fee changing to a charge that goes up


Table 15

Total number of changes


Proposed fees in the following tables assume that additional government funding is secured through the use of section 9(1A) of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (outlined in Proposal 1). You will notice a column showing the estimated impact if s9(1A) is unsuccessful.

Table 13: Proposed TSL fees that go up (GST inclusive)

Table 14: Proposed TSL fees that go down (GST inclusive)

Table 15: Proposed TSL fees that are changing to charges that go up (GST inclusive) (updated 26 April 2022)