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The National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) is developed within a framework of legislation, statutory documents and non-statutory strategies and programmes. A summary is provided here.

In developing the NLTP there are specific legislative requirements the Transport Agency and our investment partners must meet. These requirements are designed to ensure that investment of central government funds gives effect to the direction set by government.

The key documents are the Land Transport Management Act 2003(external link) and the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS)(external link).

Under the Act, the Transport Agency must give effect to the GPS in developing the NLTP and take account of the GPS when approving funding for activities. The GPS covers the priorities, objectives and results the government wants from its investment in land transport, how it will achieve these through activity classes and funding ranges, results areas for reporting, expenditure target for the NLTP, and how revenue will be raised.

Land Transport Management Act (2003)

This Act(external link) is the governing legislation for development of the NLTP. An amendment of the act was completed in 2013, which amongst other variations, has increased the period of an RLTP to six years.

The Government Policy Statement

The 2018 GPS sets out the government's national policy priorities, and its national strategic direction for land transport, being to improve the performance of the land transport system by focussing on:

  • Safety
  • Access
  • Value for Money
  • Environment

GPS 2018 further expands on these priorities by identifying a set of national objectives for a land transport system that:

  • is a safe system, free of death and serious injury
  • provides increased access to economic and social opportunities
  • enables transport choice and access
  • is resilient
  • delivers the right infrastructure and services to the right level at the best cost
  • reduces greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adverse effects on the local environment and public health.

The GPS(external link) includes information on levels of investment and funding allocation, as well as activity class definitions.

The 2018-21 NLTP gives effect to the priorities and objectives (and associated long term results) within the GPS, with the intention that short- to medium-term results will be achieved through the allocation of funding from the National Land Transport Fund.

Decision making assurances

The Transport Agency gives effect to the GPS through its Investment Assessment Framework (IAF), which sets out clear criteria for prioritisation of investment, drawn from the GPS and other government policies such as the Safer Journeys strategy.

Specific requirements that need to be met by the Transport Agency when adopting the NLTP are:

  • inclusion of a statement of significant forthcoming issues
  • checking compliance with relevant government strategies
  • setting of activity class funding levels and activities included for consideration
  • a list of funded activities from previous years, and as approved
  • identification of any nationally and regionally significant activities proposed
  • a statement of anticipated 10 year revenue and expenditure
  • noting the application of any government direction.

In terms of process, the Transport Agency must be satisfied that:

  • we are seeking value for money
  • we give effect to the GPS
  • there is transparency in accounting for revenue and expenditure
  • we have exhibited a sense of social and environmental responsibility
  • the NLTP overall contributes to LTMA objectives
  • account has been taken of particular government strategies and plans
  • there have been opportunities for Māori to contribute
  • equal scrutiny has been applied to activities.

The scrutiny principle

The Land Transport Management Act(external link) requires that the Transport Agency must give the same level of scrutiny to its own activities as it would give to those of approved organisations. This is called the 'scrutiny principle'.

This ensures the Transport Agency acts transparently in all its decision making, and that, when making decisions about land transport planning and funding, we separate the role of funder (when making funding decisions) and provider (when seeking funding for state highway and other national activities).

The Transport Agency applies the scrutiny principle to all decisions required for its own activities. Therefore it applies the same level of scrutiny to its own activities as it would to the activities of an approved organisation.

In making decisions, the Transport Agency has:

  • followed similar processes for similar types of activities
  • applied equivalent evaluation criteria
  • required an equivalent level of information to support an application
  • applied the same level of rigour to the analysis of that information
  • applied the same level of tolerance to cost estimate rigour and potential cost overruns
  • ensured people of equivalent seniority and experience were involved in the assessment and decision-making process for comparable Transport Agency /approved organisation activities.