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This page relates to the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme.


The purpose of transport models is to provide a tool to understand, and plan for, change. This may relate to changes in population, industry, technology, energy and climate.

Transport models must be fit for purpose. They need to be strategic and identify future transport needs. Updates to existing models should only be undertaken when there has been significant change on strategic context or future projections.  

You can find detailed guidance in Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Transport model development guidelines(external link).

Qualifying activities


  • Examples of qualifying activities

    These include, but may not be limited to:

    • development of upgrading of models that focus on areas where there has been significant change in the strategic context such as land use or population growth
    • access maps showing origins to key destinations.

    You can discuss with the Transport Agency whether other potential activities not listed above might also be eligible for inclusion in this work category.

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  • Exclusions

    Work category 002 excludes:

    • maintenance of the model
    • application of the model to transport planning or activity development; these are costs of delivering the relevant activity
    • routine updates to models where there has not been any significant change in land use and population projections
    • models to identify preferred routes
    • studies and strategies from July 2015 except where delivered as part of a programme business cases under work category 004: Programme business case development.
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Expected outputs from models

Models will include the following outputs:

  • information (and/or projections) that will inform and respond to strategic documents (both national and regional)
  • information (and/or projections) that will respond to significant changes impacting on the transport network
  • information that can be used to evaluate alternatives and options that can be used for future planning and investigation activities carried out for state highway, and/or local transport networks
  • clearly identified assumptions, limitations and tolerances embedded in the model
  • a process to ensure that the model is maintained and updated as required.

Development of transport model development activities

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (state highways) will develop these activities using the programme business case and transport planning (work categories 002, 003 and 004) module in Transport Investment Online.

Conditions of funding

To receive funding assistance, the development of transport models must:

  • include a strategic business case
  • include a detailed terms of reference that complies with the Waka Kotahi Monetised benefits and costs manual (from August 2020) or section 2.12 of the Economic Evaluation Manual  (superseded August 2020)
  • identify the purpose of the model or the update of the model
  • include a schedule that specifies when the model will be completed
  • establish a process for peer review by a reviewer approved by Waka Kotahi
  • identify a  technical committee with representatives from the approved organisations involved and Waka Kotahi will oversee the work
  • ensure a multiparty funding agreement is in place when there is more than one participant.


  • Models terms of reference checklist

    Checklist of areas to be addressed when developing or reviewing a model:



    Adequate (Y/N)

    Suggested changes

    Problem identification

    Do the terms of reference clearly identify the reasons for undertaking or updating the model?




    Is the model being developed/reviewed in response to a significant change in circumstance or strategic direction?



    Does the model build on existing studies, strategies and other evidence?



    Does the model avoid simply updating and/or duplicating previous work?




    Will the model provide information that will inform and respond to national/regional and local strategic documents?



    Will the model provide information that can be used for future planning and investigation activities on the transport network?



    Does the proposal include a process to ensure that the model can be maintained and updated?




    Does the study include indicative timing, funding plans and alternative sources of funding?



    Does the study represent value for money?



    Is there a multi-party funding agreement when more than one approved organisation receives benefit?



    Technical review

    Does the proposal establish a process for peer review by Waka Kotahi?



    Does the proposal identify a process for developing a technical committee to oversee the development model?





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Funding assistance rates

The usual funding assistance rate (FAR) is:

  • the approved organisation's normal FAR, or
  • 100% of Waka Kotahi state highway costs.