Looking for innovative answers to the big transport challenges


Waka Kotahi wants to hear from innovators with solutions to some of the big transport challenges facing Aotearoa, in the second round of the innovation fund, Hoe ki angitū.

Hoe ki angitū – Innovation Fund

Hoe ki angitū is making $15 million available over two years to support the private and non-government sectors to develop and accelerate innovative transport projects.  

Round two of Hoe ki angitū focuses on three specific challenges facing our transport system:

  • How can we make roadworks safer and smarter to protect workers and other users of the road network?
  • How can we reduce the impact of our rapidly growing urban freight task and door-to-door delivery on our urban environments and people? 
  • How can we improve the safe and efficient movement of people and goods that are using different modes of transport in the same space, by making better use of new technologies and data? 

More information on Innovation Fund challenges

Waka Kotahi Manager of Future Transport, Lee McKenzie, says these are all challenges that need to be addressed if we are to move towards a cleaner, safer, more accessible and equitable transport system that enhances the wellbeing of New Zealanders. 

“We know there is great work and out-of-the-box thinking going on out there in the private sector, in our research organisations, and amongst iwi and community organisations. This fund allows us to support those who are passionate about solving our transport challenges.  

“Hoe ki angitū means ‘paddle to opportunity’ – we encourage all innovators out there to pick up a paddle, bring their ideas and work alongside us to help shape the future of our land transport system,” Ms McKenzie says.

Hoe ki angitū is open to projects at all stages of development from initial ideas and testing, through to implementation or growth. It offers successful applicants 16 weeks of support to develop or accelerate their innovation. And the support available isn’t just financial. 

“We’re looking to align our support to the needs of individual projects. For some, this might be access to data or transport expertise within Waka Kotahi, for others, help navigating land transport regulations. Hoe ki angitū is all about collaboration and removing unnecessary barriers. We want to support people to unlock the potential of their innovative ideas to deliver lasting benefits for our transport system and communities across New Zealand,” Ms McKenzie says.

Hoe ki angitū is being delivered through multiple funding rounds. Each round focuses on a specific set of challenges facing the transport system.  

Successful recipients from round one of Hoe ki angitū were announced in early November*. Twenty-four projects were awarded a total of $4.2 million in support to progress their innovations. Successful applicants came from a range of organisations, from small community groups, iwi and start-up technology companies to large research organisations.  

* Kiwis step up to the challenge for innovative transport solutions(external link) (beehive.govt.nz)

The successful projects from round one include an investigation of the feasibility of using recycled textile fibres in asphalt, a trial e-bike subscription service and the development of an ‘on demand’ bus service for residents on Matakana Island in the Bay of Plenty, which is being designed in collaboration with Ngāi Te Rangi.