NOTE: This information refers to the 2003-2014 historical survey.

For information about the Oct 2015 onwards survey go to Current Survey

What is the survey about?

This survey is about collecting information regarding day-to-day travel in New Zealand - how we travel, where we go, when, and so on. The results will give us a picture of the actual travel patterns of all types of people - information which is vital for developing road safety, roading, public transport, pedestrian and cycling policies.

What information is collected?

We ask for information about the travel made by each person in your household on two chosen days. We call these your Travel Days. The questions we ask each of you are in three parts:

Before your Travel Days

You will have been sent a letter from the Ministry of Transport introducing the survey and inviting you to participate.

The letter tells you that an interviewer will visit you to explain the survey and invite you to take part by recording your travel. The letter will give you the name of that person. Your interviewer will ask brief questions about how many people make up the household and the vehicles you all have. They will provide each of you with a travel memory jogger and will make an appointment to return after your Travel Days.

During your Travel Days

We will ask you to record your travel on the Memory Jogger provided.

After your Travel Days

Your interviewer will return at an agreed time and ask you to describe your travel. He or she will also ask you about what you drank and some general background questions. Most people find this interesting and enjoyable.

This interview is all you will be required to do for the survey. Even though the Travel Survey is an ongoing process, your address should not be selected again.

What happens to my information?

The information you give us is added to other people's responses and used to make up a national or regional picture of travel in New Zealand. It is never linked back to you personally.

The information you provide about where, when and how you travel will be used to guide decisions which influence the way New Zealand's roads, cycleways and walkways are developed. It will help in developing our public transport networks, and will be used in developing road safety policy.

Read about the survey

What difference will this make to me?

Because you and the other members of your household have given us information about the various ways you use our road network, we will be able to improve our planning and design work to help reduce traffic congestion and prevent road accidents. This includes developing safe cycling and pedestrian networks and developing road safety policy. This will benefit everyone.

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 or taxi driver, or a truck driver), then you don't need to record the travel done as part of this job. Please do record your personal travel, including travel to and from work, and any travel you do as part of another job (such as going to meetings).

If you are not a 'professional driver', please record any travel you do as part of your work, including travelling between work sites, going to meetings and picking up equipment you use for your work.

I don't go anywhere much - are you still interested?

Some people think that, if all they did on a Travel Day was to walk across the road to buy a newspaper, this would not be important. 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
  • you 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.

Every single respondent is important - old, young, car owner, non-car owner, those who walk, those who travel a lot, and those who never go anywhere at all.

But today is an unusual day for me

It's not only what you usually do that's important. It's what actually happens. If you are a courier driver and usually drive all over the place, but on your Travel Day you have the day off, just write down what you actually did. Or, if you hardly ever go out, but your Travel Day is a special outing day, write that down. Every day in New Zealand lots of people are having 'unusual' days, and we need to include this in our survey.

Who is conducting the survey?

The Ministry of Transport has commissioned Research International to carry out the survey on its behalf. This information gathered by the Research International interviewers will be used by the Ministry of Transport.

How was I selected?

You personally were not selected. Rather, your address came out of a random sample of households selected from across New Zealand. People in both urban and rural areas are being surveyed.

What about privacy?

The information we collect is used for statistical purposes only. Names are only used to help the interviewer make appointments and talk to you. No information from which any individual or household can be identified will be published as a result of this survey.

Who can I contact about the survey?

You can ask your interviewer any questions you have, or you can phone TNS on 0800 473 732.