Sustainable Public Transport Framework


Effective public transport contributes to all our environmental, social, and economic goals. It is a lifeline that connects people to work, school, recreation, and to their friends and family.

In August 2022 Cabinet agreed to replace the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM), the regulatory environment that governs how public transport in Aotearoa New Zealand is procured and delivered, with the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF). The SPTF has the following objectives:

  • public transport services support mode-shift from private motor vehicles, by being integrated, reliable, frequent, accessible, affordable, and safe
  • employment and engagement of the public transport workforce is fair and equitable, providing for a sustainable labour market and sustainable provision of public transport services
  • well-used public transport services reduce the environmental and health impact of land transport, including by reducing reliance on single-occupancy vehicles and by using zero-emission technology
  • provision of services supports value for money and efficiency from public transport investment while achieving the first three objectives.

The SPTF reforms will be implemented through a combination of amendments to the Land Transport Management Act 2003 and through the development of operational policy, which will be progressed over the course of 2023.

Following the reforms, the SPTF will be implemented through future service planning and delivery.

Waka Kotahi is currently engaging with the industry on proposed operational policy across each of the reform areas that will give effect to the SPTF objectives and accompanying legislation changes.


Establishing the SPTF will result in the following key reforms:

  • establishing new objectives for the planning, procurement and delivery of public transport services, to be embedded in the Land Transport Management Act 2003
  • enabling in-house delivery of public transport services (public transport authorities will be able to operate public transport services, for example, own buses, employ bus drivers, and run services themselves)
  • requiring services to be procured, contracted and/or delivered in such a way that ensures transparency around aspects of service delivery
  • enabling different asset ownership arrangements, including public transport authorities owning assets directly
  • encourage greater collaboration between regional councils and territorial authorities in preparing regional public transport plans
  • changes to the framework for exempt services (including commercial and inter-regional public transport services)
  • including on-demand public transport services (services like ‘MyWay’ in Timaru and ‘AT Local’ in South Auckland) in the SPTF.

Documents for consultation

Sustainable Public Transport Framework consultation

There are currently no consultations at this time.

How to make a submission?

All feedback counts equally so you can share your views by email to:

Please include the consultation document title in your submission.

You can choose whether you also include the following in your submission:

  • your name, and title if applicable
  • your organisation’s name if applicable
  • your email address (preferred) or postal address.

Please note your submission may become publicly available. Waka Kotahi may publish any information you submit and may identify you as the submitter if your submission is published or given to a third party.

Please clearly indicate if your comments are commercially sensitive or, if for some other reason, they should not be disclosed, or the reason why you should not be identified as the submitter. Any request for non-disclosure will be considered under the Official Information Act 1982.

Previous documents for consultation

Background on the Framework

In 2021, the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) was reviewed, with a focus on:

  • the objectives
  • decarbonisation of the public transport bus fleet
  • roles and relationships in the public transport sector
  • the labour market in the public transport bus sector
  • services that operate outside of PTOM (exempt and excluded services)
  • on-demand public transport services

In August 2022, Cabinet agreed to replace PTOM with the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF).

In September 2023, the SPTF was incorporated into the Land Transport Amendment Act 2003 with the passing of the Land Transport Management (Regulation of Public Transport) Amendment Bill (the Bill).

Better bus driver pay, more reliable services under new public transport framework(external link)