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onramp with traffic showing fixed variable message sign

Our intelligent transport systems standards and specifications (ITS S&S) define the requirements for the design, delivery and integration of ITS equipment, such as electronic signs and CCTV cameras, in our transport network.

The new ITS S&S framework is now in place, ensuring that our standards and specifications documentation is produced to high quality so that we can deliver a safer system for all users and provide certainty, consistency and clarity for our people and industry partners.

It is currently being used to produce 11 documents. Over 80 documents will be assessed and prioritised for review based on need, impact and outcome.

‘Delivering a framework by which we can create the specifications and standards that we need in order to effectively, and consistently, deliver change to our networks is a great milestone and one that I’m proud that the team have achieved,’ says Tim Duly, Head of Technology Engineering.
The framework provides a consistent approach and people in the industry now know what steps they should take for ITS S&S processes and procedures.

‘The framework is a positive step forward in helping improve safety and create more consistency and clarity for users on city motorways and rural roads. We have enjoyed the opportunity to contribute and look forward to applying our expertise to more documents for the industry in the future,’ says Blair Monk Principal Transport at Aurecon.

Having a framework means we have defined processes and procedures for future delivery of all standards and specification documents. It includes working with several external authors, managing different entities, and the consultation processes. This ensures the requirements are captured in the documents in a consistent manner. The author’s guide ensures consistency across all documents. 

What’s the ITS S&S framework?

The framework has been developed to initiate new or make updates to existing ITS S&S documents used by Waka Kotahi, our transport sector partners and the ITS industry.

The new framework provides opportunities for ITS users such as Transport Operation Centres (TOCs) and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to collaborate and contribute to the S&S documents. It ensures that our ITS S&S documentation is produced to a high quality so that we can deliver a safer system for all users and provide certainty, consistency and clarity for our people and industry partners.

Roles in the framework include a working group of Waka Kotahi representatives who work with ITS suppliers, approvers and subject matter experts. This ensures that a standard or specification is not created or updated in isolation of our work on the network or without our wider business knowledge.

The ITS industry is positive about the structured approach we are taking to create ITS S&S documents, particularly around the opportunity to review draft versions and provide feedback.
The steps outlined in the framework to produce the documents include:

  • Generating/authoring a document
  • Consulting subject matter experts (SMEs) for technical input
  • Going through an expert panel review with several reviewers per document
  • Managing impact on affected stakeholders due to any changes
  • Consultation with the wider ITS industry and Road Controlling Authority (RCA)
  • Ratification of the documents by the Waka Kotahi ratification group
  • Documents are approved, issued, and published on the ITS webpage as the current document.

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High quality and consistent S&S documents also ensure that during the procurement stage suppliers clearly understand our requirements, making it an easier and transparent process.

We need your help! Register to help shape ITS in NZ

A crucial part of ITS S&S documentation is the feedback you provide. Get involved in reviewing draft ITS S&S documents and help shape ITS in New Zealand. You only need to register on our webpage and you will receive communication from us regarding the documents you want to provide feedback on.

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Frequently asked questions

What are Intelligent Transport Systems?

You probably see or experience our ITS in action every day. ITS equipment includes devices, such as vehicle detection systems, lane control signals, ramp signals, variable message signs, CCTV cameras, incident detection, emergency telephones, cables and ducting.

Fully optimised ITS equipment benefits and enriches the lives of New Zealanders by providing the capability to communicate with people about delays, manage traffic flows through our Transport Operation Centres (TOC), and where possible, reduce travel times and help deliver safer systems.

What are the benefits of this framework?

Providing new or updated ITS S&S documentation benefits all national transport network projects. Ensuring the consistency and quality standard of our ITS helps Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency realise the full benefit of our network upgrade and ensures a safer system for all users through:

  • Providing safer outcomes, road safety, and risk reduction, delivering our part in our Road to Zero strategy
  • Certainty – ensuring that during the planning and procurement stage planners, designers and external suppliers clearly understand our current ITS requirements
  • Consistency of ITS nationwide – this helps us consolidate the types of devices used on the network and to make the most out of what we have by managing it well
  • Procurement of fit for purpose ITS kit for transport infrastructure projects by reducing the risk of increased project costs of retrofitting an ITS solution.

All the currently identified ITS S&S documents (84 in total) will be assessed and prioritised for review based on need, impact and outcome.

How does it work?

The framework consists of repeatable roles-based processes to support the creation and ongoing maintenance of the ITS S&S documents. The documents are created or updated using both internal and external subject matter experts (SMEs), and in consultation with the industry. This enables an open environment for collaboration and transparency to ensure we work closely with the industry.

More information

For more information about the framework and ITS S&S, visit the ITS S&S webpage or email the team at

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