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Our 2020/21 Research Programme

The Transport Agency’s research programme is aligned with the sector’s outcomes framework, with the programme based around:

  • Inclusive access
  • Healthy and safe people
  • Resilience and security
  • Economic prosperity
  • Environmental sustainability.

Working within these areas of focus, the research programme strives to keep up with the pace of change affecting the transport sector through agile research and evaluation approaches.

Our research team leads and supports the delivery of the research programme in close collaboration with stakeholders.

The programme is seeking to take a broader research leadership role in terms of developing working relationships with the academic and innovation communities as well as other research funders.

How can I find research reports?

On our website

You can find a list of all our research reports on our website. PDFs of all research reports are available on our website for downloading.

Note: If you are using the Google Chrome browser to view report PDFs you may find some text looks scrambled.  To ensure PDFs show correctly we recommend you open the PDFs in non-Chrome web browsers or Adobe Acrobat, or download the PDF.

View all research reports

Spreadsheet of research reports

You can download a spreadsheet (updated quarterly) which lists all research programme reports. It includes a list of key words and the abstract associated with each report and a link to the pages on our website where the reports can be downloaded, or you can request PDF scans from

Download spreadsheet of research reports [XLSX, 468 KB]

Active research

The Transport Agency publishes a list of active research projects.

View the list of active research projects

Quarterly NZTA Research newsletter

Research reports are profiled in our quarterly NZTA Research newsletter.

View all issues of the NZTA Research

Email notifications

We can let you know by email when research reports have been published to the website.

Sign up to get updates(external link)

Research programme requirements

To ensure that the research programme does not serve the operational needs of any single entity, Waka Kotahi requires that research:

Strategic and operational context for the research programme

The research programme will address critical knowledge gaps across the following time-horizons within the framework of the transport sector outcomes:

Long- to medium-term strategic context
Research addressing enduring outcomes for New Zealand – guide longest term public investment.

Medium- to short-term strategic context
Research addressing strategic frameworks and targets established across the public sector.

Short-term operational context
Research addressing operational strategies and matters across the public sector, as they pertain to transport.

The New Zealand Transport Evidence Based Strategy

The Transport Evidence Based Strategy(external link) creates an environment to ensure the transport sector has the right data, information, research and evaluation to deliver an evidence-based transport system that improves wellbeing and liveability. 

The strategy has two primary objectives:

  1. Ensure the right data, information, research and evaluation is available for decision-making
  2. There is an established culture of evidence-based decision-making.

The Transport Evidence Based Strategy is comprised of the following complimentary strategies and ongoing programmes of work aligned with updated Government transport priorities and outcomes:

Domain Plan
Ensures the right data, statistics and information are available to understand our transport system and make evidence-based decisions. This identifies data and knowledge gaps and priorities to maximise the value of data, statistics, and information (originally published in 2016).

Research Strategy
Creates a research environment to maximise the benefits from transport-related research (originally published in 2016).

Evaluation Strategy
Provides a framework for evaluating transport system performance, regulations, policies, and investment, and identifies activities that support high quality evaluation activities within and across sectors (new).

Transport Knowledge Hub

The Transport Knowledge Hub(external link) encourages collaboration and raises awareness of future work and opportunities. The Transport Agency’s research programme is closely linked to the knowledge hub via connected areas of focus and information sharing.  The knowledge hub includes a number of topic hubs:

  • Data
  • Economics
  • Environment
  • Forecasting
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Technology and innovation
  • Urban
  • Aviation.

These topic hubs provide members with an opportunity to share transport data, evidence, knowledge, research, capabilities and ideas.