Looking for innovative answers to big transport challenges


Waka Kotahi has launched a new innovation fund, Hoe ki angitū, and wants to hear from innovators with solutions to some of the problems facing transport in New Zealand.

Hoe ki angitū – Innovation Fund

Hoe ki angitū, a $15 million innovation fund, will support and accelerate innovative projects in the transport sector.

Waka Kotahi National Manager Multimodal and Innovation Deb Hume says the focus of the fund is on encouraging collaboration with the private sector and removing unnecessary barriers, to accelerate solutions.

“We want to engage actively with the private sector and encourage contributions from a broad range of people – community-based organizations, iwi, rural communities, domestic and international companies, start-ups and innovators from all sectors. 

“We know that there is some great work and thinking going on in the private sector to address some of the major transport challenges we face - such as reducing emissions, encouraging mode shift, improving accessible and equitable transport options, decarbonising freight, and improving road safety outcomes.

“These challenges need to be urgently addressed to deliver a better-connected, cleaner, and safer transport system that keeps New Zealand moving. Working together we have an opportunity to amplify efforts and really achieve meaningful outcomes. Hoe ki angitū will enable us to support those passionate about solving these problems. For successful applicants, support might be financial - or it might be in other ways including support to navigate the transportation regulatory system, access to data or capabilities or the creation of strategic partnerships. Each project will have a unique set of needs to help it advance.”

Hoe ki angitū is challenge-based, and seeks solutions with the potential to deliver real impact for the land transport system. The fund will launch with three specific challenges with others added in future rounds. 

Innovation Fund challenges

With an allocated $15million over two years, the fund will partner with and support innovators of all types and at various stages of the innovation cycle.

“Despite there being many challenges to address, transport is one of the most exciting spaces to work in right now. There are many opportunities for innovators to meaningfully contribute to problem solving. We’re looking forward to hearing from New Zealanders about what they are working on or thinking about and how we can help,” says Ms Hume.

To be considered for funding, innovators will need to demonstrate how their project aligns with at least one of the transport outcomes as outlined in the Government Policy Statement on land transport, as well as address the specific problem presented in the challenge. 

Innovators from the private sector including iwi, start-ups, domestic and international companies, research institutions, community and university groups are invited to apply.

It is expected that innovations submitted will be at various stages of development – from idea and testing through to implementation or growth.

Applications for Hoe ki angitū open 7 June 2022. 

Innovation Fund – frequently asked questions