Social impact assessment

State highway projects may contribute to economic and social prosperity. They may also create positive or negative social impacts at the regional and local level. These impacts might include changes to people’s ability to access other people, communities or services. They may also be caused by changes to amenity, facilities, mode of travel, local movement patterns and displacement or arrival of local businesses or residents.

The Transport Agency is committed to act in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and the process of social impact assessment helps the Agency to deliver on this commitment.

Social impact assessment is defined as the processes of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions (International Association for Impact Assessment, 2003).  

Guide to assessing social impacts for state highway projects

The Transport Agency has released this Guide to assessing social impacts for state highway projects for public consultation. This guide sets out the requirements for assessment that meets the Transport Agency’s commitment to social responsibility and the requirements of statutory approval processes under the Resource Management Act.

This guide seeks to achieve a nationally consistent approach to carrying out social impact assessment for state highway projects at all stages of a project’s life cycle. This approach is intended to provide certainty and clarity of expectations for our customers and for the Agency and to appropriately deliver on our commitments to social responsibility. This guide forms part of the NZ Transport Agency state highway environmental and social responsibility standard.

It is expected the guide will be used by:

  • Project managers
  • Planners
  • Social impact specialists
  • Engagement specialists
  • Environmental technical specialists
  • Environmental managers
  • Contract managers

For further information contact