The Ministry of Transport has a programme to develop transport demand and revenue models to ensure its advice on transport policy and investment has a sound evidence base.  This programme's work-streams are based on five transport modes – road, air, rail, sea and active modes.  This page displays models developed by the Ministry and relevant documents. New models and associated documents are added to this page as they are completed. 

These models are presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.


Revenue Forecasting

The Ministry forecasts revenue for the National Land Transport Fund.  The Ministry's revenue forecasting model forecasts revenue from three streams: Petrol Excise Duty (PED), Road User Charges (RUC) and Motor Vehicle Registrations (MVR). Forecasts are run at least twice a year for inclusion in the Treasury’s fiscal updates (external link) .  The forecasts also inform land transport investment under the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport, and the National Land Transport Programme (external link) . The Ministry's quarterly revenue snapshots provide an update on the forecast performance versus actual revenue data.

In 2013/14, the Ministry commissioned a review of its revenue forecasting model, and adopted a new forecasting model.

Read forecasts and quarterly revenue snapshots:

Freight Demand Forecasting

The National Freight Demand Study models demand for freight out to 2042.

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport

The Ministry engaged the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to develop forecasts of road vehicle travel for the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. The NZIER used a model previously developed for the NZ Transport Agency.

One issue with the NZIER model is that it was premised on the ability of supply to respond to increases in demand without constraints.  The Ministry commissioned Concept Consulting to develop conceptually how supply side measures could be incorporated into the model.


Demand forecasting for air travel is done by a number of different agencies.  The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment forecasts numbers of tourists arriving from New Zealand’s eight major trading partners (see MBIE's tourism forecasts (external link) ).  The Civil Aviation Authority forecasts numbers of departing passengers undergoing security screening. 

The Ministry of Transport's forecasts focus on areas not covered by other agencies. To date, they have forecast international short-term departures by New Zealand residents (that is, not for migration purposes) and total national domestic air passenger departures.  The Ministry's models have been subject to an external peer review.

Below are links to spreadsheets of the Ministry's air passenger forecast models, technical notes and a presentation :

New Zealand International Air Freight Report

The Ministry has commissioned a study on New Zealand international air freight for both exports and imports. This research has analysed demand and available capacity, freight movement patterns and charges, as well as historic trends and future demand.

Although air freight volumes are small in weight terms, they represent 17 percent of New Zealand’s international commodity trade value.

The report highlights that:

  • Air freight typically attracts high value products
  • In general, there is sufficient capacity to handle the expected air freight demand, although there may be temporary capacity shortages at some airports
  • There would be only a modest growth in air freight through to 2030. However, the volume of air freight regularly fluctuates, thus faces an uncertain future.

Read the NZ international air freight report by Murray King and Richard Paling. [PDF, 5.7 MB]


Demand modelling completed to date was done for the National Freight Demand Study.


Demand modelling completed to date was included in the National Freight Demand Study.

Active Modes

The Ministry has commissioned a literature review of the factors that influence people’s decisions to use cycling for daily travel.