Skip to content

Important notice

The building where our contact centre is based has been evacuated so our 0800 numbers cannot be answered at this time. 0800 4 HIGHWAYS is operating for travel-related queries only and other numbers will re-open as soon as possible. For more information read our latest media release.

Access keys for

  • h Home
  • m Menu
  • 0 Show list of access keys
  • 2 Skip to content
  • 3 Skip to top


This section provides an overview of the requirements for Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) to prepare their transport programmes for input to a regional land transport plan (RLTP).

This is general information about developing programmes for the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).  You can find specific information about development of the forthcoming NLTP at the Transport Agency’s planning and investment news page. This includes information on timelines and key dates.

Preparing a programme for the RLTP

All local and regional activities that are proposed for inclusion in the NLTP must be included in an RLTP. This requires Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) to develop their transport programmes, through which they propose activities for inclusion in an RLTP, and submit these to the appropriate Regional Transport Committee (RTC).


  • Criteria for NLTP inclusion and funding approval

    Criteria for NLTP inclusion and funding approval

    The criteria that apply to activities proposed for inclusion in an RLTP and the NLTP are less stringent than those that apply to activities for which funding approval is sought. This means that activities may be proposed for inclusion in an RLTP or the NLTP at an early stage of their development, when limited information is available. Activities proposed for funding approval need to be developed sufficiently to enable the approval under s.20 of the Land Transport Management Act(external link).

    Close Back to top

Requirements for programmes and activities

The Transport Agency expects that Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) meet a range of requirements when developing their transport programmes.


  • Use of the Business Case Approach

    Use of the Business Case Approach

    The Transport Agency expects that the principles of the Business Case Approach will be used for all new activities proposed for inclusion in the NLTP.  Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) are required to use the Business Case Approach for all transport planning activities. 


    Close Back to top
  • Evidence based justification

    Evidence based justification

    All activities that are proposed for funding assistance under the NLTP must be supported by robust evidence. 

    Robust evidence is to be provided in Transport Investment Online fields and uploaded supporting information, including strategies, business cases, activity management plans, regional passenger transport plans, economic evaluation worksheets, etc.

    Further detailed evidence, particularly for programmes, may be required to be presented during NLTP negotiations with the Transport Agency.


    Close Back to top
  • Information requirements

    Information requirements for activities

    When developing activities, Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) must ensure that required fields in Transport Investment Online  (external link)are completed with the information relevant to the activity's business case stage and its readiness for either NLTP inclusion or funding approval. 

    Since the NZ Transport Agency expects that Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) will monitor the impacts of their land transport investments, investment performance measures need to be selected by Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) and agreed with the Transport Agency  The Investment Performance Measurement pages provide further information on which activities must have performance measures and the Transport Agency measurement framework which includes a range of performance measures.

    The Transport Agency requires that the Road safety audit procedures must be applied to the development of any improvement or renewal activity that involves vehicular traffic, and/or walking and/or cycling, proposed for funding assistance from the NLTP.  The Road Safety Audit page provides details of when the audits must be undertaken or how to declare an exception.

    Close Back to top
  • Optimisation


    Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency( state highways) are expected to optimise their programmes when they develop them for RLTP inclusion.

    At an activity level, this involves option identification and selection of the preferred option. This may involve use of multi-criteria analysis to short list options and should involve incremental assessment to select the preferred option from the short list, as well as using First Year Rate of Return (FYRR) to help inform timing decisions.

    At a programme level, it involves sequencing and programming of components and relative scale of components to achieve efficient allocation of resources over time and best value for money. The programme support rating should reflect this optimisation.

    Close Back to top
  • Structure of programme

    Structure of programme

    Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) should structure their transport programmes by:

    • Activity class - which will be largely managed through the use of the correct Transport Investment Online module.
    • Programme Business Cases -  more complex activities or combinations of activities that target a defined problem in a specific area or corridor should be identified and linked to a programme business case under the Business Case Approach. In some cases these activities will be interdependent, i.e. the benefits of one activity cannot be fully delivered without delivery of others, and their delivery achieves synergies in the transport system. Theses should be identified in packages within the programme business case. 
    • Programmes – comprising routine, low risk activities that are delivered in a continuous manner, e.g. road maintenance programme or public transport services programme.
    • Improvement projects of over $1,000,000 estimated construction cost are set up as stand alone projects in Transport Investment Online. No project under $1,000,000 construction cost should be developed as a stand alone project, unless it is a Promotion of road safety and demand management activity.
    • Low cost low risk projects of less than $1,000,000 estimated construction cost - each Approved Organisation and Transport Agency (state highways) region at least will receive a base funding allocation, provided it has met the conditions of funding for low cost low risk improvements. Detail is set out under work category 341 for roading minor improvements and work category 532 for public transport low cost low risk improvements.
    Close Back to top

Assessment and priortisation

The Investment Assessment Framework needs to be used to assess and priortise activities.


  • Assessment profile

    Assessment profile

    Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) are required to use the Investment Assessment Framework to determine the assessment profiles of their activities, and to inform their decisions to submit activities for inclusion in an RLTP

    Each activity will also be assessed by the Transport Agency, using the Transport Agency’s Investment Assessment Framework. The resulting assessment profile is used to ascertain the activity’s priority for inclusion and programming in the NLTP. 

    Close Back to top
  • Prioritisation


    The Transport Agency’s prioritisation of activities for programming in the NLTP utilises the Investment Assessment Framework's priority orders, which sets out the assessment profiles and their priority order. 

    Close Back to top


The process below and steps provides detailed information on how to develop programmes for activities to be included in an RLTP: