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An effective transport system is critical to the wellbeing of New Zealanders, connecting people with the destinations where they live, work and play. The New Zealand Transport Agency’s role is to contribute to an effective, efficient and safe land transport system in the public interest. This means a land transport system that responds to current and future demand for access to social and economic opportunities; a system that is resilient to shocks, provides transport choices and is increasingly free of death and serious injury; a system that considers the environment and delivers value for money. The world in which the Transport Agency performs its role is changing, presenting us with new and significant challenges and opportunities.

We expect continuing population growth in key urban areas, particularly Auckland and the Upper North Island. This will place pressure on the transport system and increase the importance and desirability of alternatives, such as public transport, walking and cycling and new mobility services.

We are living in the midst of a technology and information explosion, which is rapidly building momentum and changing what our customers want and need. Customers and business are more connected than ever – they want faster, easier, real-time and more personalised transport services. Electric vehicles are here, autonomous vehicles are being trialled and personal mobility services are on the rise. The paradigms that shape how customers can access transport services are shifting.

At the same time, the Government expects us to steward a safe and efficient land transport system that delivers value for money, uses resources wisely and supports New Zealanders living well.

These challenges and opportunities mean that we are at a pivot point. To deliver our value statement of ‘Great journeys to keep New Zealand moving’, the Transport Agency, working with partners, will need to take a wider view of the transport system as a whole and the different interventions available to shape it. We see transport as a complex, dynamic system that is far wider than the physical infrastructure and modes traditionally associated with transport. Within this system, we and our partners have a wide range of existing and new tools that can influence and shape how the transport system works. It is more important than ever that we work together.

Our approach to planning and investing in the land transport system will need to shift from being fragmented and infrastructure based to one where key transport and delivery partners have an aligned view on the pressures facing the transport system, the state the system needs to be in to address those pressures and what the best set of responses are to deliver for customers and for citizens.

This Long Term Strategic View (the View) sets out the Transport Agency's perspective on the future demands and pressures that are likely to shape the issues and opportunities facing the land transport system. It identifies the material impacts they will create, and sets out how we believe we will need to respond to those impacts over the near and longer term.

In developing the View, we have focused on those parts of the country that reflect current Government priorities of facilitating economic growth and productivity, enabling urban development and supporting regional economic development.

The View will enable the Transport Agency to work more effectively with our partners to shape the future of the transport system and the contribution it makes to wider social and economic outcomes across New Zealand.

It is our aim that by 2022, New Zealand will have a shared view, with our partners, of the land transport system, the issues and opportunities it faces, and the interventions required to enable New Zealand’s aspirations. This document is the first step towards that.

There are few people whose lives are not touched in some way by the land transport system. Whether we are investing in or working with others to deliver transport solutions, we will continue to ensure that our focus remains on meeting the needs of our customers, the people of New Zealand.

Fergus Gammie,  
Chief Executive, New Zealand Transport Agency


The New Zealand Transport Agency’s purpose is to contribute to an effective, efficient and safe land transport system. Put simply, we focus on building a better transport system for New Zealanders. This is because transport has a major part to play in the country’s economic growth and productivity, the smooth functioning of our communities, and the quality of life of our citizens.

The future of New Zealand’s transport system will be influenced by an interconnected set of shifts in our demographics, economics, technology, and social trends. Some of these changes have already begun to take shape, while others are yet to emerge.

To be successful over the long term, we need to form a view on these future influences on the transport system and the challenges and opportunities they will create. We then need to respond appropriately to optimise transport’s contribution to New Zealand’s success. 

This Long Term Strategic View will set out how we will respond to ensure that we continue to deliver a transport system that supports greater prosperity, security and opportunities for New Zealanders.

It is the Transport Agency’s intent that this document is the first step towards a shared sector view of the land transport system, the priority issues and opportunities it faces and the interventions needed to enhance it. We will engage widely with our transport sector partners to test and improve it over time.

Data on the different pressures impacting on the transport system and the issues and opportunities they create was sourced from a wide variety of providers including Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment, the Ministry of Transport, local authorities and the Transport Agency.