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Performance based specifications


Asphalt Binders (M1-A)

Published: 2019

This specification sets out the performance characteristics to be met by the binders used for asphalt manufacture.  It supersedes M01-A: 2016  ‘ ‘Performance Specification for Asphalt Binders’. This specification is blind to the binder composition and so encompasses straight bitumen and polymer modified binders.  The grade of binder is selected based on site climate conditions, heavy vehicle traffic volumes and speeds and relates to the performance in asphalt in terms of rutting and fatigue resistance.


Dense Graded and Stone Mastic Asphalt (M10)

Published: 2014

This specification (version 5) and notes (version 3) cover dense graded and stone mastic asphalt for roads and related applications. It covers areas including asphalt materials, asphalt mix design requirements, process control in manufacture and placement of asphalt, acceptance criteria for asphalt, quality systems, minimum process standards, plant requirements and sampling and testing frequencies.


Bituminous reseals (P17)

Published: 2012

This specification and guidance notes set out the performance requirements for: single coat reseals using sealing chip with an average dimension greater than 5.5mm; multilayer seals using sealing chips in the range of grade 2 to grade 6, as defined in Sealing chip M6 specification. This includes both wet and dry locking coats and texturising seals and void fills.

Note: Optional performance based specification.


Hotmix asphalt wearing course surfacing (P23)

Published: 2005

This specification and guidance notes set out the performance requirements for the following types of asphalt as wearing courses: the supply and laying of open graded porous asphalt (OGPA); the supply and laying of textured high stress resistant type asphalts, such as stone mastic asphalt; and the supply and laying of dense graded asphaltic concrete (DGAC). The specification is to be used where the Engineer requires a dense graded, open graded (permeable) mix or a textured surface able to resist high stress, in a performance-based environment.

Note: Optional performance based specification.


Pilot specification for calcined bauxite (P25)

Published: 2012

The NZ Transport Agency has released a pilot version of the P25 Specification for calcined bauxite. This is a performance-based specification for calcined bauxite applied with non-bituminous binder on an appropriate substrate. The expectation is that the surfacing (including the substrate) will have a life of 6 to 8 years with zero or minimal maintenance. This specification applies where the substrate is provided by the principal or the contractor.


Improvement of macro-texture by use of high pressure water and grooving (P26)

Published: 2003

This specification and guidance notes set out requirements for improving the macrotexture (texture) of a pavement surface using high-pressure water or grooving treatments.


Performance based first coat sealing (P29)

This specification is currently under development.

Method based specifications


First coat sealing (P3)

Published: 1995

The specification and guidance notes for first coat seals applied upon the finished surface of compacted granular basecourse pavement. The value of adopting the prime and seal technique should not be overlooked, particularly for low traffic density roads or where there is a high proportion of clay type fines in the surface layer.

Note: Use is mandatory on state highways and recommended on other road controlling authority roads.


Resealing (P4)

Published: 1995

The specification and guidance notes for resealing on an existing sealcoat or primed surface. The term resealing in this specification includes second coat and texturising seals. Also includes dry grit locking coats.


Asphaltic concrete paving construction (P9)

Published: 1975

The specification for asphaltic concrete paving construction. The asphaltic concrete paving material nominated for use shall comply with the requirements for the grade as defined in the current edition of M/10 Asphaltic concrete. A provision is made for Auckland in 1992. Note: Use is mandatory on state highways and recommended on other road controlling authority roads.

This has been replaced by M/10 Dense graded and stone mastic asphalt.


Open graded porous asphalt (P11)

Published: 2007

This specification and guidance notes describe the required properties of open graded porous asphalt for use as a surfacing course for road pavements. This mix type is intended to be used as a surfacing where there is a requirement for texture depth, noise reduction and/or splash and spray suppression.

Note: Use is mandatory on state highways and recommended on other road controlling authority roads.


NZ supplement to the AAPA National asphalt specification (NAS)

Published: 2006

This memo provides information for using the attached New Zealand Supplement to the AAPA National Asphalt Specification.

This has been replaced by M/10 Dense graded and stone mastic asphalt.

Material specifications


Roading bitumens (M1)

Published: 2011

This specification and guidance notes set out the physical characteristics required to be met by all bitumen used in New Zealand. All of the products supplied as grades listed in table 1 require approval by the Transport Agency, which includes the approval of a quality assurance plan for the manufacture and supply of an M/1 approved bitumen. Although only 5 grades are listed in table 1, to avoid presenting an obstacle to innovation note 1 to the table specifically allows other grades (eg 'multigrade' bitumens) to be used if approved by the Operations Manager, NZ Transport Agency National Office. Approvals are for a period of 5 years after which time resubmission is required.

Note: Use is mandatory on state highways and recommended on other road controlling authority roads.

Note: M1-A supersedes the binder properties of the M1 specification ‘Roading bitumens’ for binders used in asphalt only.


Sealing chip (M6)

Published: 2011

This specification sets out the material requirements for five size grades of sealing chip for use on state highways and other heavily trafficked roadways.

Note: Use is mandatory on state highways and recommended on other road controlling authority roads.


Pre-coating sealing chips (M11)

Published: 1975

The sealing chips shall comply with the requirements defined in the current edition of the specification for Sealing chips M6, and for supply only contracts, shall be of the size designated in the specific contract requirements of this specification.


Adhesion agents (M13)

Published: 1989

This specification and accompanying notes describe the procedure by which the contractor shall obtain approval for the nominated adhesion agent and dosage rate with each source of sealing chips that is intended for use on sealing work, except where emulsified asphalt binder (emulsified bituminous binder) is to be used.


Rubber latex in reseal binders (P5)

Published: 1985

This specification and guidance notes are to be appended to Resealing P4 (P/4) and shall apply where natural rubber latex is to be added to the bituminous binder for resealing purposes. The requirements of this specification extend and modify P4 and shall take precedence over the requirements of P4 where there is conflict.


Bitumen testing (TM6003): M/1 Bitumen testing

Published: 2009

Provides advice on the use of bitumen test results, both bitumen quality control records and verification testing.


Procedure for assessing bitumens for acceptance by the penetration test (TM6004)

Published: 2011

The procedure for assessing bitumens for acceptance by the penetration test shows the calculations used to set the acceptance limits shown in table 1 of M1 notes:2010. For use in cases where a bitumen meeting the penetration specification has been retested after delivery of a cargo or production batch from the manufacturer and found to be outside the NZ Transport Agency M1:2010 specification limits.

Test methods


Texture by the sand circle method measurements (T3)

Published: 1981

This test procedure covers the determination of the average texture depth of a paved surface using sand to give the volume of voids. The method is suitable for the measurement of surfaces with average texture depths greater than 0.45mm (less than 350mm sand circle diameter).


Size, shape and grading of grades 1-4 sealing chips (T5)

Published: 1987

This test method covers the procedure for sampling and for determination of percentage fines, average least dimension (ALD), average greatest dimension (AGD), distribution of least dimensions and incidence of broken faces in grades 1 - 4 stone sealing chips.


Kerosene content estimation (T9)

Published: 2003

This method is a procedure for calculating the lighting kerosene content of cutback bitumen. This method applies to cutback bitumens manufactured from bitumen, automotive gas oil (AGO) and kerosene complying with the Roading bitumens M1 specification, including up to 1.5pph of adhesion agent. Materials containing rheology modifiers, such as polymer modified bitumen, cannot be analysed using this procedure.


Permeability of hot mix asphalt (T11)

Published: 2003

This method describes the use of the standpipe permeameter to assess the permeability of compacted hot mix asphalt pavement surfacings. This test measures the rate of ingress of water into the surface using a falling-head permeameter. This test provides the rate of ingress of water into a compacted bituminous surface.


Durability test method for bitumen (T13)

Published: 2011

Test method to assess the long-term field durability (resistance to oxidative hardening) of NZ Transport Agency M1 penetration grade bitumens.


Bitumen testing (TM6003): M1 Bitumen testing

Published: 2009

Provides advice on the use of bitumen test results, both bitumen quality control records and verification testing.

For further information contact pavements@nzta.govt.nz.

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