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The One Network Framework is our new national classification system. It will be used to determine the function of our roads and streets, and inform decision making.

The new One Network Framework acknowledges the transport network has a ‘Place’ function. This means roads and streets are destinations for people, as well as transport corridors. The new framework also introduces classifications for different modes of transport, recognising that our roads and streets have different functions for different modes.

Fit for purpose classification

The ONF evolves the One Network Road Classification to a two-dimensional classification focused on Movement and Place. The ONF recognises that shared, integrated planning approaches between transport and land-use planners will result in better outcomes.

The image below shows how the ONRC has evolved into the One Network Framework with the introduction of a place dimension, making it fit for purpose in complex urban environments.

The purpose of the evolution is to provide an easy-to-understand common language that all transport, land use and urban planners can share. The ONF is not designed to provide transport solutions but can set the context for nationally consistent conversations.

When fully implemented, the One Network Framework can be used to benchmark performance and align performance measures and outcomes.

Learn more about the journey to the ONF

Learn more about the ONF and how you can apply it in your work. Email the ONF team at

Why update the ONRC?

New Zealand’s One Network Road Classification (ONRC) was initiated through the recommendations of a 2012 Government taskforce to improve road maintenance investment through level of service differentiation.

The introduction of the ONRC has been a giant leap forward in terms of benchmarking investment in asset management in New Zealand and has subsequently become embedded in a number of other transport national policies and systems.

The evolution of the ONRC responds to the recognition that shared, integrated planning approaches between transport and land use planners will result in better outcomes. ‘Systems thinking’ allows us to link strategies and policies together and support more holistic decision-making that in turn improves the liveability of places.

What’s in it for me?

The benefits of the framework differ depending on what transport or land-use discipline you work in, and whether you work predominantly in rural or urban settings.

For rural areas, particularly in relation to asset management, very little may change. The ONRC classes will be mapped by default to represent the ‘General Traffic’ and ‘Freight’ classifications. So, for most rural areas, current ONRC categories are likely to strongly correlate (if not completely) with the general movement classes, particularly if there are no public transport networks.

The separate ‘Freight’ mode class allows you to differentiate, at a more granular level, your freight routes. The biggest benefit is in being able to map the place function, allowing you to emphasise where your road networks go through town centres, or past important places such as district schools or marae. This contextual information will be useful for conversations with your community about things like speed management or town centre upgrades.

For urban areas, the framework allows you to see the work many of you are doing locally reflected at a national level. Creating liveable towns and cities goes well beyond transport, and this framework helps us nationally move towards a better understanding of our competing demands.

Currently, both central and local government are driving towards several strategic goals including delivering Road to Zero, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts., promoting community wellbeing, and achieving higher quality urban development. All of these require frameworks and tools that naturally lead us to more interdisciplinary planning and ‘systems thinking’.

Evolving the ONRC to the One Network Framework is a key national response to these shifts and provides a more robust framework that is appropriate for both rural and urban settings.