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Part One: Responding to your feedback

The Long Term Strategic View

The Long Term Strategic View is currently being shared in draft form with Approved Organisations for their feedback and discussion. It has been created based on earlier discussions and feedback from the transport sector as well as data and information that helps identify issues, opportunities and potential solutions in each part of our transport system.

The View captures the pressure points and key economic, environmental, and population factors that will shape the transport system we need for the future. It is intended as a starting point for conversations with our stakeholders and investment partners and we are asking them to help us refine it further, by inviting feedback on the draft View between now and the end of June 2017.

A number of questions and issues have been raised regarding the Long Term Strategic View and, in particular, it’s role in informing the 2018-21 NLTP development. Answers to each of these questions are provided below.

Timing and feedback: The period for feedback should have been made longer, and we would have preferred to co-design the draft View with you before it was shared for feedback.

Ideally we would have liked to share the draft View with you earlier. In the end it was a balance between completing the draft early enough so that it would still provide useful guidance for the NLTP development conversations, while also ensuring it was aligned it with the Draft Government Policy Statement that became available in March this year.

We acknowledge that some stakeholders would have preferred to be involved earlier in the process of developing the draft View. We have ensured the draft View has been developed from the available evidence base and a variety of existing earlier feedback and input from our stakeholders and partners. Using these existing sources, the View helps identify the key issues, opportunities, and potential interventions for each part of the transport system. It is intended as a conversation starter as we work with our stakeholders and partners towards developing the 2018-21 NLTP and we are asking them to help us refine the View further. It is the first step towards developing a shared, comprehensive view of New Zealand’s transport system.

Should the first version of the View be described as the Transport Agency's View, with the next version as a wider sector view once feedback has been incorporated?

This option was considered but as much of the content in the View had been sourced from local planning documents, it seemed incorrect to frame it simply as the Agency’s View. The first draft is intended as a conversation starter and we are inviting stakeholders to help refine it further – the intention is that it becomes a truly shared view of the transport system.  

We expect to release Version 2 of the View in the second half of 2017, incorporating the feedback we receive from our stakeholders and partners between now and 1 July 2017. It is envisaged the View will become a living document that is periodically updated to ensure it remains current with the national and regional contexts it reflects.

How will the Long Term Strategic View relate to the NLTP Development process? How will it influence these processes going forward?

The Government Policy Statement (GPS), the Business Case Approach and the Investment Assessment Framework determine the investments that are finally included in the NLTP, following the activities being proposed through the RLTPs.

Although the Long Term Strategic View is intended to become a useful tool for both Transport Agency staff and our stakeholders and partners across the sector, it doesn’t determine what is or is not included in the final NLTP.

While the View reflects current government priorities and is a useful input into RLTP and NLTP conversations, it is not the primary determinant of investment.  The View aims to reflect these priorities, but just because something is not included in the View absolutely does not mean that it can’t be included in the NLTP.  Equally, the items that do feature in the View are not guaranteed funding – they will still need to demonstrate value for money through the business case process.

The question of the future link between the Long Term Strategic View and the Results Alignment assessment in the Investment Assessment Framework (IAF) has been posed as part of the current engagement on the draft IAF, so we will look to provide greater clarity as part of that process. The New Zealand Transport Agency must give effect to the GPS and uses the IAF to do so. Consequently, the IAF needs to provide a further level of detail beyond what is contained in the GPS. We will look at improving the line of sight between GPS and IAF and ensuring the language in the IAF is consistent with the GPS as both are finalised later this year.

While the current Long Term Strategic View is aligned with GPS priorities, the GPS and Investment Assessment Framework remain the principal documents for assessing NLTP investments, every investment proposal still needs to apply the business case approach and be assessed against the Investment Assessment Framework. 

How will the Long Term Strategic View align with the Ministry of Transport’s Outlook documents?

The Ministry of Transport are preparing their transport ‘Outlook’ that will consist of two components:  

  • An annual update on the ‘current state’ measures of performance of the transport system
  • A ‘future state’ outlook that considers the next 30 years with a focus on forecasting the anticipated demand on the network

These outlooks will take a national and regional perspective but, unlike the Long Term Strategic View, do not drop down to corridor or sub-regional level. The Ministry’s Outlook is expected to be publicly available in late May, with a range of technical appendices, and will also link to other Government publications such as the Energy Outlook, MBIE’s Regional Economic Activity Report and Treasury’s financial forecasts. The intention is to provide consistent data and evidence, without duplication, across government. 

The Outlook includes modelling of health outcomes based on mode share under different scenarios along with inter-regional freight volumes, but does not include ‘values’, whereas the Long Term Strategic View includes indicative values that are built off the Freight Demand Study. The Ministry is also looking into a tourism flow model, but it won’t be part of the first stage Outlook.

The New Zealand Transport Agency will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Transport, and will look to incorporate key aspects of the Outlook content into the next edition of the Long Term Strategic View.

Aligning engagement on the View with engagement on the Corridor Management Plans.

The Transport Agency is seeking feedback on the Long Term Strategic View between now and the end of June. The feedback will be presented to the NZ Transport Agency Board in August, with a view to developing an updated version of the View incorporating feedback from the sector.

The Corridor Management Plans align with the State Highways Investment Proposal and outline what is needed in much finer detail for each key corridor to maintain the agreed level of service it needs to provide to that part of the overall system.  

This provides a really useful complementary discussion to our engagement around the Long Term Strategic View that sets out the key drivers we expect to determine the demand pressures the transport system needs to respond to over the emerging future.

One of the main conversations the Transport Agency will be looking to have with our partners and stakeholders in the regions over the immediate months is how and where investment is needed to bring those state highway corridors up to the agreed levels of service and/or maintain them at that level. The Corridor Management Plans provide the tools for having these conversations and are an ideal complement to the higher-level detail of the Long Term Strategic View and the State Highways Investment Proposal.  

The Transport Agency has asked its regional staff to ensure they hold joint conversations as they engage with regional stakeholders on both the Long Term Strategic View and the Corridor Management Plans. Expect them to canvass both topics with you over the coming weeks – contact us if you have any specific questions.

How does the View reflect tourism, access, and travel demand management?

The View is currently light on tourism – we lack quality data across the sector as a whole on how and where visitors are travelling on the land transport network. Feedback from the sector will be critical to telling a more complete tourist story in the View.  The Transport Agency is also working with the Ministry of Transport to identify options for improving our data and evidence for visitor movements.

Additionally, the role of transport in providing access to employment, education and training opportunities in support of broader Government outcomes is gaining traction, particularly in the Regional Economic Development regions.  We expect this trend to continue, although how it plays out in each region/city will be determined locally.  The principle role of the View will be to reflect how each area choses to progress these issues and opportunities.

Finally, although the View acknowledges the role that Travel Demand Management can, and will, play in some locations around New Zealand over the coming decades.  Travel Demand Management is relatively new in the New Zealand context, so there are some questions over how, where and when it will be implemented.  We expect that references to this in the View will continue to evolve as the Travel Demand Management approach gains further traction.

The Investment Assessment Framework feedback timeframes

The time frames for providing feedback on the draft IAF were too short.

We received feedback that the initial deadline (April 7, 2017) for providing feedback on the draft IAF was too short and prevented proper engagement with Regional Transport Committees and their regional or technical advisory groups. 

Acknowledging the need for more time for engagement with Regional Advisory Groups, Technical Advisory Groups and Regional Transport Committees, the original deadline was pushed out to 21 April. We sought feedback on the technical aspects of the IAF, separate from the strategic priorities, which will be finalised along with the final Government Policy Statement later this year.

The Transport Agency's currently reviewing the feedback received. We will discuss the feedback, along with any recommended changes, at the June Board meeting.

Note: See the Investment Decision Making/Investment Assessment Framework in the second section of these materials (Part Two: Useful Additional Information) for further updates on these areas of work.

Government Policy Statement on Land Transport

Is there a risk that with an election coming up, and the Government Policy Statement (GPS) unlikely to be finalised until near the end of the year, a potential change in government could make the RLTP/NLTP processes we are currently going through redundant?

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport sets out the Government’s strategic priorities for transport investment. It is possible that the current priorities that are signalled in the engagement draft of the 2018/19-2027/28 GPS may alter.

However, the process we are currently going through with our partners and stakeholders as we consult on the Long Term Strategic View together and work through the various planning conversations as part of the RLTP Reviews and NLTP Development, is based on data and evidence that highlights the key issues and opportunities facing each region, which will remain relevant.

We have been working closely with the Ministry throughout the development of the engagement draft of the GPS to ensure as much alignment between that, the draft IAF, and the Long Term Strategic View as possible.

The engagement draft of the GPS provides the most useful strategic guidance that is currently available to guide our high-level planning together.  Providing the draft GPS and draft IAF now has meant that the current strategic thinking that has guided the development of these documents can be drawn on to provide some guidance to the local and national planning processes and proposed programmes and initiatives.

If there are any changes in priorities as a result of the final GPS, we will share these with you as soon as they are available and consider what their impacts are with you then.

The engagement draft of the GPS was made available earlier this year. It is available on the Ministry of Transport website(external link).

Transport Investment Online (TIO)

Please provide an update on when the TIO updates and supporting guidance will be available.

Territorial Local Authorities are keen to know when TIO guidance notes and the TIO fields will be updated to reflect the new IAF, as well as clarification of when draft programmes need to be entered into TIO.

  • The new TIO templates (with updated guidance notes) will go live in late July 2017, for projects going into the next NLTP.
  • Training will be available on these templates in May/June – we’ll provide more details shortly about how to access this training.
  • We will automatically migrate old profiles onto the new framework – for activities approved in the 2015-18 NLTP, no changes will be required. Any unapproved activities proposed for inclusion in the 2018-21 NLTP will need to be updated to ensure required fields are completed.
What changes will I see in the system?
  • We’re adding more help text, to give a clearer idea of what’s needed in each field
  • We’re making changes to accommodate the updated Investment Assessment Framework
  • The assessment of business cases in TIO is being formalised using a series of ‘gateway’ questions that guide the process
  • We’re creating a more complete historical picture of each project, making it easier to look back and see what’s changed over the life of a project

Initial bids for the continuous programmes are expected to be entered into TIO by 31 August 2017, with firm bids submitted in October 2017, and final bids in December 2017.  

These dates are included in the updated timeline that is available on the 2018-21 NLTP pages.

Knowledge Base updates

How are the planned updates to the Knowledge Base progressing?

We currently have a set of business case guidance on the old (current) knowledge base; as well as the additional guidance on the Highways Information Portal.

As part of the BCA Capability work that is underway, we are updating these different sets of information into a single knowledge base. We will also include a draft section for the 2018-21 Assessment Framework.

We expect to have knowledge base content based on the draft IAF in place very shortly and will release the updated Knowledge Base on the new platform then.

Business Case Approach

Feedback from the sector indicates there is still low awareness of the online modules and training that are available to help people to apply the Business Case Approach (BCA) more effectively.  A range of guidance on the BCA and the BCA principles were also published late last year and are available through the links below.

Regional Public Transport Plans

What are the expectations for applying the Business Case Approach within RPTPs?

Approved Organisations are required to apply the Business Case Approach to the development of continuous public transport programmes. 

However, we do not expect Approved Organisations to develop a separate business case for public transport programmes, so long as they have captured the key components of a BCA in documents that Councils prepare.  One document that could be used – partially or substantially - is a Council’s RPTP.  

The agency’s RPTP guidelines are being updated to show Councils how they could use the RPTP to help support the case for a continuous public transport programme. We expect these guidelines to be available shortly.

Where the RPTP is not used or there are gaps, Approved Organisations should use other regional documents, or develop a separate document that either provides the information required or references documents where that information can be found.  

The agency will assess the information provided by Approved Organisations using an assessment template.  The assessment template and information on the assessment process will be available on the Knowledge Base shortly.

State Highway Investment Proposal

Feedback suggests there hasn’t been consistent engagement on the State Highway Investment Proposal across each region.

The primary mechanism for engaging on the content of the State Highway Investment Proposal has been through the conversations with Approved Organisations and the Regional Advisory Groups, Technical Advisory Groups and Regional Transport Committee via the RLTP process.

As we undertake the current engagement processes with stakeholders on the Long Term Strategic View, we will also incorporate the Corridor Management Plans into these discussions as well.

The Corridor Management Plans align with the State Highway Investment Proposal, but outline what is needed in much finer detail for each key corridor to maintain the agreed level of service it needs to provide to that part of the overall system.

The Long Term Strategic View sets out our view of the key drivers that will determine the demand pressures the transport system needs to respond to over the emerging future. It also highlights our high-growth regions and the issues and opportunities that need to be addressed in the planning conversations we have with each region.

For those regions that aren't in the high-growth category, one of the main conversations the Transport Agency will be looking to have together will focus on how and where investment is needed to bring those corridors up to the agreed levels of service and/or maintain them at that level. The Corridor Management Plans provide the tools for having these conversations are an ideal complement to the higher-level detail of the Long Term View and the State Highway Investment Proposal.

The Transport Agency’s has asked Planning & Investment, and Highways Network Operations teams to engage jointly with stakeholders in each region for these conversations.

Electric vehicles

Please provide more information about the cost of implementing Electric Vehicles in special lanes? 

Planners need to start thinking about electric vehicles and build them into their organisations’ highway planning. The Transport Agency, in consultation with key stakeholders, has developed a vision for a nationwide network of public charging infrastructure and how this ties in with the ONRC. You can find more information, including the national guidance for electric vehicle public charging infrastructure, on our website.

The costs of readying existing special vehicle lanes for electric vehicle access is dependent on the outcomes of a robust assessment process (including accessibility, safety audit, and impact on public transport and congestion generally) and the safety mitigations and traffic control devices required to make the lanes viable.

Activities required to modify an existing lane can range from installing signage and road markings to significant remodelling that will enable safe visibility, or the addition of non-skid surfaces and necessary drainage.  We are meeting with RCAs that have special vehicle lanes to share our learnings and provide them with a toolkit that will support their planning.

Costs incurred to modify existing roading infrastructure can be paid from a RCA’s maintenance allocation, within the standard NLTP funding rules.  

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