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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 where there has been significant change on strategic context or future projections.  

Detailed guidance is available in the Transport Agency’s Transport model development guidelines(external link).

Qualifying activities

The work category includes a range of qualifying activities.


  • Examples of qualifying activities

    Examples of qualifying activities 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.

    Other potential activities that are not in the above list should be discussed with the Transport Agency for eligibility. 


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  • Excluded activities

    The work category 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, and
    • 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 which are embedded in the model, and
  • a process to ensure that the model is maintained and updated as required. 

Development of transport model development activities

Activities will be developed using the Programme business case and Transport planning (WC 2,3&4) module in Transport Investment Online.

Conditions of funding

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

  • provide a Strategic Business Case
  • include a detailed Terms of Reference, that complies with section 2.12 of the Transport Agency Economic Evaluation Manual
  • 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 the  Transport Agency
  • identify a  technical committee with representatives from the affected approved organisations and the Transport Agency that will oversee the work
  • ensure a multiparty funding agreement is in place where 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 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 and funding plans and alternative sources of funding?



    Does the study represent value for money?



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



    Technical review

    Does the proposal establish a process for peer review by Transport Agency?



    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 is:

  • the approved organisation's normal FAR, or
  • 100% of the Transport Agency state highway costs
activity management plan (AMP)

An activity management plan prepared in accordance with clause 2 of schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 2002 for approved organisations, or Cabinet Office circular CO (19) 6: Investment Management and Asset Performance in the State Services, for Crown entities (which include the Transport Agency for state highways, and the Department of Conservation). Activity management planning considers the assets in the context of the services they are supporting and clarifies the purpose for holding the asset. The goal of good asset management is to support the delivery of a level of service (whatever the service may be) in the most cost-effective manner, taking long term sustainability into account. Activity management plans should be based on the National Asset Management Steering (NAMS) Group's International infrastructure management manual.