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Under the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA), the Transport Agency is required to provide an assessment against the core requirements for the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). These requirements are that the NLTP:

  • contributes to the purpose of achieving an effective, efficient and safe land transport system
  • gives effect to the GPS
  • takes into account relevant strategies, national or regional policy statements, programmes and plans, including regional land transport programmes.

While this section provides a summary of the NLTP assessment, other sections provide greater detail on the contributions that the NLTP makes to the purpose of the LTMA.

For more information about the contribution the NLTP investment makes to each of the priority areas, refer to the national overviews outlined below:

Contribution to the purpose of the LTMA

The purpose of the LTMA is to contribute to an effective, efficient and safe land transport system in the public interest.


An effective network allows the movement of people and freight where they need to go, and in a timely manner.  The Transport Agency facilitates this outcome by targeting an integrated ‘one’ network for customers, which maximises returns for New Zealand.

The effectiveness of the NLTP is tested through the evaluation of activities and combinations of activities, and their alignment against best practice principles and development practices.

The NLTP is considered to be effective as:

  • The short term priorities and long term goals of the Agency, influencing our strategic direction and work programme development, consistently and actively target one network, integration, resilience and returns to customers.
  • The Transport Agency and all transport stakeholders employ the full suite of interventions, including regulatory, infrastructure and non-infrastructure to ensure that customers are fully informed and can access the network in a safe and reliable manner.
  • All activities funded through the NLTP are assessed under the Investment Assessment Framework for their effective contribution to the national strategic priorities.
  • Activities are expected to  be developed through the Business Case Approach, which allows all stakeholders to agree upfront the core problems or opportunities within the network or corridor, to pursue only those interventions which are consistent with the priorities for the network, and to consider the full suite of possible interventions to address that issue. The business case approach allows for a better achievement of outcomes and better informed decisions.


The NLTP is considered to be efficient as:

  • the NLTP is developed and delivered within anticipated available funding:
    • the NLTP has been developed so that investment levels proposed in the 2018–21 NLTP match the expenditure target available in the GPS, which reflects the Government’s revenue expectations from all sources
    • the NLTP will continue to be delivered under an endorsed cash flow management approach so that expenditure generally will match available funding over time, with seasonal and other fluctuations managed through the use of short-term borrowing facilities from the Crown.
    • the NLTP investment represents value for money:


Improving road safety is a key priority for the government and the Transport Agency. . A national safety programme has been developed (as one of five national priority programmes) to accelerate the identification and delivery of activities that will give effect to the safety key strategic priority set out in the GPS. This priority programme recognises the need for the Transport Agency and Approved Organisations to work together collaboratively to commit funding and resources in a short timeframe to deliver improved safety outcomes during the next three years.

The Transport Agency and local authorities will also deliver a partnership-led Safe Networks investment programme that will fast-track national safety interventions linking current and future investment in roads and roadsides (state highways and local roads) and speed management. Safety outcomes can also be achieved through other investments which improve the overall levels of service on the network. This expenditure is across all activity classes.

The roading network is maintained and operated to service levels appropriate to the function of each part of the network. Investment under the NLTP will vary from behavioural (promotion of road safety) and enforcement (road policing), to maintenance, operation and renewal of the network, and through to infrastructure and service improvements depending on the significance of safety issues, risk factors and the mix of activities needed to create a safe system.

As a rule, NZ Transport Agency investment approvals for improvements in roading and walking and cycling infrastructure require that safety audits be undertaken at key stages to ensure that critical issues are identified and resolved during development.

A significant suite of work is also continuing across the Agency, central government and wider stakeholders which is not represented in the investment programme but will lead to substantial safety gains. This includes recent policy changes to the threshold for Blood Alcohol Levels, recent and ongoing amendments to the driver licensing rules, continued focus on regulations and regulatory compliance, and the safer speeds programme.

Giving effect to the GPS

The GPS sets out the Government's priorities for the land transport sector including the outcomes the Government expects from investment through the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).

Investment Assessment Framework

The Investment Assessment Framework (IAF) forms part of the Investment Decision-Making (IDM) System. The Transport Agency uses the IAF to help give effect to the GPS and determine what proposals will be prioritised for inclusion in the NLTP and what proposals should be funded.

The IAF is the framework the Transport Agency uses, with approved organisations, to translate GPS priorities and expectations in order to develop an integrated prioritised NLTP that gives effect to the GPS.

These outcomes delivered by the Transport Agency are not specific to any one NLTP; they continue from one NLTP to the next, although the government may change the emphasis on particular outcomes through its priorities, objectives and results stated in the GPS.

Full details about the IAF are set out in the Planning and Investment Knowledge base.

The Transport Agency has retained the changes to the assessment framework components proposed in 2017, including a two-factor assessment approach of results alignment and cost-benefit appraisal.

The IAF supports the Transport Agency and our investment partners to develop land transport activities for inclusion in Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTPs), as part of the development and delivery of National Land Transport Programmes (NLTPs). The main features of the IAF are:

  • Use of the business case approach (BCA) as a precursor to the IAF assessment ensures a consistent input into the investment decision-making process and that investment proposals are assessed in a clear and transparent manner. The BCA and the IAF are clearly linked through the assessment of the business case, which seeks evidence of applied critical thinking required for a robust investment proposal.
  • Results alignment assessment rates the degree of alignment with the results specified in the GPS, focuses on customer levels service as an outcome, provides a focus on taking an integrated approach to target the right results in the right places, and now includes a Very High rating option reserved for specific results that are deemed necessary by the government to deliver on the investment strategy of the GPS.
  • Cost–benefit appraisal considers how well the proposed solution maximises the value of what is produced from the resources used, and the timeliness of intervention. Assessment of improvement activities uses the benefit–cost ratio as the default approach, although variations may be used in certain circumstances. Cost-effectiveness and performance comparisons are used for road maintenance and public transport programmes. Cost–benefit appraisal includes a very high rating for improvement proposal benefit (cost ratios above 10).
  • A programme support component is used for assessing the urgency of addressing the problem within the timeframes of the GPS.

Assessment profile

The combination of the ratings provided for the two assessment factors provides an assessment profile as the basis for comparison and prioritisation with other activities nationally. In general, activities with higher rating assessment profiles will be considered ahead of those with lower profiles for inclusion in the NLTP and for Transport Agency investment.

Taking account of relevant strategies and plans

In developing the NLTP, account was taken of relevant strategies, plans and programmes as set out in the table below. Account will continue to be taken of these in delivering the NLTP.

Strategy, plan or programme How it was taken into account in developing the NLTP.
Connecting New Zealand By giving effect to the GPS – the GPS has been developed based on the policy direction given in Connecting New Zealand to deliver economic growth and productivity, value for money, and road safety.
National Infrastructure Plan By giving effect to the GPS – the GPS has been developed based on the strategic direction given in the National Infrastructure Plan to improve the use of existing networks, and appropriately allocate new investment. These are fundamental to the Transport Agency Investment principles, in particular the investment hierarchy.
Safer Journeys Road Safety Strategy Through assessment of proposed activities under the Transport Agency Investment Assessment Framework, which assesses the priority of the safety components of activities based on priorities in the Safer Journeys Road Safety Strategy. In addition, all improvement activities are required to meet best practice design guidelines and undertake safety auditing through development and implementation.
New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NEECS) By including in the NLTP proposed activities that will achieve impacts sought in the GPS that contribute to NEECS, such as easing severe urban congestion, promoting appropriate mode choice for travel and understanding and mitigating adverse environmental effects.
Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTPs) By including in the NLTP proposed activities that have been included in RLTPs, taking account of regional priority setting, discussion, consultation and negotiation involving the Transport Agency.
One Network Road Classification system Through assessment of proposed activities under the Transport Agency Investment Assessment Framework, which assesses the strategic fit and effectiveness of maintenance and improvement activities relative to their function  and level of service requirements within the classification system.
Regional Public Transport Plans (RPTPs) By including in the NLTP proposed activities that have been included in RLTPs developed by Regional Transport Committees, taking into account RPTPs. The process for developing the NLTP includes regional discussion and confirmation of priorities from RLTPs involving Regional Transport Committees (including the Transport Agency representative).