The New Zealand Household Travel Survey is an ongoing survey of household travel conducted for the Ministry of Transport.

What is it?

The Household Travel Survey captures information about:

  • where we go
  • when we go
  • how we travel
  • purpose of journey.

The results will give us a picture of the actual travel patterns of New Zealanders.

The survey is relied upon to provide information that is vital for developing road safety, roading, public transport, pedestrian and cycling policies.

Participation is fun, interesting and worthwhile.

Who takes part?

Every year 2,200 households take part. Addresses are selected at random.

This means the survey fairly represents all New Zealanders. The more people that take part, the better the survey will represent all New Zealanders.

Who carries it out?

The Ministry of Transport contracts CBG Public Sector Surveying to carry out the survey on its behalf. All interviewers carry official identification cards.

Why should my household take part?

The survey findings are used to help:

  • improve roads
  • improve cycleways
  • improve pedestrian networks
  • reduce crashes.

Your contribution will benefit your local community as well as New Zealand as a whole.

How is it completed?

Each household is provided with a survey kit. The kit contains Travel Loggers for each person (12 years and over). 

The Travel Loggers record travel completed on any given day using GPS technology. If you would prefer not to use a Travel Logger, there is the option to record your daily trips in a paper travel diary instead.

At the end of the day, the traveller can verify their journeys online, or if preferred, they can be contacted by CBG to do this over the phone. Additional travel information is also collected, such as the purpose of the journey and what type of transport was used.

The Travel Loggers are returned at the end of the survey period.

This is the first time this type of technology has been used for a national travel survey in New Zealand.

I don’t go anywhere much – are you still interested?

Absolutely! Every single respondent in the survey is important – older, younger, car owner, non-car owner, those who walk, those who travel a lot, and those who never go anywhere.

Even if all you do is to walk to the shops to pick up some milk, we still would like to know. In fact, this type of travel is just as important as a trip from one end of the country to the other.

So, whether you make a lot of trips, only leave the house once or twice, or even if you don’t go anywhere at all, just record what actually happened on those days.

What do you get?

You will receive an overview of your travel with details of distances and times. This is confidential and can only be seen by you.

How will my privacy be protected?

Participation is private and confidential.

The information you provide is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. This means:

  • Data is anonymous. Any details that could identify you are removed.
  • All data is pooled to present a picture of how New Zealanders travel. There is no analysis or reporting of individual travel patterns. Only Ministry of Transport staff and approved researchers will have access to the data.
  • Data is secure and password protected.
  • Only you in your household will be able to access details of where and when you have travelled.

Where can I see the results?

Survey results have been delayed but will be available on the Ministry of Transport website at: www.transport.govt.nz/research/travelsurvey

Research Panel

On behalf of the Ministry of Transport, CBG maintains a Travel Research Panel. It consists of people who are happy to take part in further research for the Ministry.

The panel answers questions on travel issues requiring quick insight into the public view.

If you agree to be part of the panel:

  • participation in any future research remains voluntary
  • you will be contacted and invited to take part
  • you can refuse to participate
  • time involved in participation is typically 5-10 minutes per survey
  • the topics are most often issues of public interest.

Additional information about you

In addition to the survey questions, the Ministry now (from Dec 2016) asks permission to combine the valuable information you have provided in this survey with other routinely collected information such as that found in the driver licence register, motor vehicle register or from ACC. This allows more informed decisions to be made about transport policy, such as around safety and risk on New Zealand roads.

Should you agree for this additional step the Privacy Act 1993 applies, and any information that could identify you will be removed after the data is linked. The linked data can only be used for statistical/research purposes.

You can cancel this permission at any time by writing to: The New Zealand Household Travel Survey, Ministry of Transport, PO Box 3175, Wellington, New Zealand.

What if I drive for a living?

If you are a professional driver, that is someone who is employed to transport goods or people (like a courier, bus, taxi or  truck driver) you will be given two Travel Loggers, one to record work-related travel, and the other to record personal travel. 

This week wasn’t a normal week for me

Every day across New Zealand, people are making some trips they regularly make and some they do not regularly make. It is important to get a picture of all these trips to understand how all New Zealanders travel. 

Will someone be tracking where I am travelling via the Travel Logger?

No. Data provided by individuals taking part in the survey is not monitored. The data gained from the Travel Logger will be analysed in bulk once the participants have completed the survey.

Will children have to carry a Travel Logger?

No. Children under 12 will not be asked to carry a Travel Logger. However, if you are taking part and have children under 12, you will be asked to fill in an online diary about their travel.

Who can I contact about the survey?

You can ask your interviewer any questions you have, or you can phone CBG on 0800 478 783.

A copy of the brochure for participating households is available here. [PDF, 473 KB]