Work carried out in 2017/18
against priorities

1. Delivering a mode neutral transport system to provide a more sustainable New Zealand

We will work to ensure that decisions made for the transport system, particularly for freight, consider the potential contribution of all modes. We will promote a sustainable transport system across all modes. The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) will be a key lever to set the frame for investment and funding decisions to be mode neutral.

Mode neutrality means considering all transport modes when planning and investing, and basing decisions on the merits of each mode to deliver positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Government Policy
Statement on land transport


The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2018 was released on 28 June 2018. The GPS sets out the Government’s priorities for expenditure from the National Land Transport Fund over the next 10 years. GPS 2018 represents a change in direction. Developed across November 2017 – June 2018, GPS 2018 reflects the Government’s focus on developing a modern, safe, efficient, clean, and resilient transport system that supports liveable cities and businesses, with transport choice. 

There was considerable public involvement in the development of GPS 2018, with 924 submissions received following the release of the draft GPS and a public engagement process (including a national Transport Summit, regional forums and meetings with key stakeholders). GPS 2018 referenced a possible second stage to GPS 2018. A decision will be taken in early 2019 as to whether this is required. The next in-cycle GPS, GPS 2021, is at the early stages of development.

(including rail and coastal shipping)



In taking forward the Government’s ambitions for freight transport and mode neutrality, the Ministry has been engaging with the freight industry over the past 6 months. The aim of this was to understand the factors that influence the transport choices of consumers, producers and carriers of domestic freight. Alongside the Ministry’s wider work, the outputs of this engagement will help inform the Government’s approach to transport strategy and policy to increase the role of rail and coastal shipping in the freight task.



The Future of Rail Programme is being led by the Ministry, with support from the Treasury, the NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail. A working group has been established to deliver advice to Ministers in September with a concluding report expected by the end of the year. We prepared advice to the Minister of Transport on the role and value of rail in a multi-modal transport system, including the key issues and opportunities for rail.

Public Transport
Operating Model

The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) is being implemented through a combination of operational and legislative changes. The legislative components of the model were established in the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2013 which came into force on 13 June 2013.

The Ministry provided advice at the end of 2017 on the initial effects of the public transport operating model on wage rates and driver conditions. Early indications showed that there had been some improvements in the quality of public transport services without significant cost increases. We then commissioned research by Allen & Clarke in May 2018 to explore PTOM’s effects on driver wages and conditions in more detail. This report is due towards the end of 2018.


Household Travel Survey


Initial results for 2015-2017 for the New Zealand Household Travel Survey (HTS) have been released, providing a valuable evidence base about how, when, where and why people in New Zealand travel. The contract has been rolled over for an additional year (2018/19). 

A NZ Transport Agency research project has investigated the suitability of using HTS data to update regional and local transport models, and from this work, several organisations have started proceedings to use the Household Travel Survey contract, which enables regional councils to engage and purchase expanded sample households under the same umbrella contract in their local areas in 2018/19.

After lessons learned over the previous 3 years, the survey will switch from a 7 day travel diary to a 2 day travel diary, with the option of GPS based memory jogger for 2018/19 onwards. 

Outcomes Framework


A key achievement for 2017/18 was the development of a transport outcomes framework. This is a critical step towards our goal of improving our system leadership role, and taking a more strategic approach to transport in New Zealand. The outcomes framework recognises that transport is about more than simply moving people and goods. Transport exists to make our lives better. 

The outcomes framework is designed to capture this idea in a way that can give direction to the transport system on how it can contribute to broader social and economic outcomes. The framework establishes a high level purpose of improving wellbeing and liveability. It sets out five connected outcomes which need to be met as a whole – inclusive access, economic prosperity, healthy and safe people, environmental sustainability, and resilience and security. 

2. Delivering liveable cities

We will work across government to ensure transport supports the broader housing and urban development agenda. This includes ensuring that revenue, planning and investment settings in transport are aligned with other agendas and contribute to broader Government priorities.

We will work with our urban centres to ensure transport is an enabler of good urban design and allows for greater, mode neutral, integrated and connected transport choices. We will support the movement of more people to public transport (including rail),
walking and cycling, and integrate with urban planning to shape highly liveable cities. 

Although the examples below relate mainly to Auckland, we are working to develop good policy across all of our major urban areas.

Rapid Transit Network

Accelerating the development of Auckland’s rapid transport system is a priority for the Government. It is about unlocking housing and urban development opportunities as well as encouraging people to shift to public transport. Light rail proposals form part of Auckland’s strategic public transport network (bus, rail and light rail) agreed through the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).

The Ministry has led development of advice on how to accelerate delivery of light rail transit. In addition to advice on a new Rapid Transit Activity Class in the Government Policy Statement on land transport 2018, the Ministry has prepared a Cabinet paper that secured Cabinet agreement to Auckland’s Rapid Transit Network Programme, including acceleration of the City Centre to Airport line.

The Congestion
Question Project


We progressed the cross-agency Congestion Question Project that is investigating whether to introduce congestion pricing in Auckland, and if so what it should look like. The Phase 1 report was delivered in November 2017 setting out baseline data, an assessment of successful and unsuccessful international congestion pricing initiatives, and an evaluation framework. 

Cabinet and Auckland Council agreed to progress to the next phase of the project looking at potential options for congestion pricing and narrowing these down for more in-depth analysis. Phase 2 includes considering the social and equity impacts of pricing and how these could be mitigated. The Ministry is playing a key role in this work leading the governance and steering groups and overseeing the project management.

fuel tax

The Ministry delivered on a key government priority – having a regional fuel tax in Auckland in place on 1 July 2018. The purpose of a regional fuel tax is to raise revenue for transport projects that would otherwise be delayed or not funded. As this is a new transport funding tool, the work required amending the Land Transport Management Act 2003, putting in place regulations to assist the NZ Transport Agency to carry out new operational functions and, through Order in Council, specifying the transport projects in Auckland that would be funded with the revenue. 

The policy and legislative work was delivered on an accelerated schedule and subject to tight timeframes. Despite this, there was significant public involvement, for example the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee received 520 submissions on the proposed changes to the legislation. The project, led by the Ministry, required close collaboration with a number of agencies, in particular the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council, but also engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including fuel distributors, who are liable to pay the tax, and the major fuel user groups.


Auckland Transport Alignment


The Ministry led the cross-agency work on ATAP to develop a $28 billion package of transport investments for Auckland for 2018-2028. As part of this we supported the Mayor of Auckland and the Minister of Transport to achieve agreement across Government and Auckland Council with the ATAP package being formally endorsed by both in May 2018. We produced a public-facing report and engaged with a broad range of Auckland stakeholders, supporting the Minister to host a successful event. 

The package was well-received and has translated into the Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan and guided the projects to be funded from the Regional Fuel Tax. ATAP accelerates the delivery of Auckland’s rapid transit network, with the aim of unlocking urban development opportunities. It encourages walking and cycling, invests in public transport, commuter and freight rail, and funds road improvements. It is a transformative plan for Auckland’s transport system. See a snapshot of this package below.

Committed projects

·       City Rail Link 

·       Puhoi-Warkworth motorway 

·       Additional electric trains 

·       Manukau-Papakura motorway widening 

·       Northern corridor improvements and Northern busway extension to Albany.

New projects

·       Light rail (City-Airport and Northwest corridor), initial investment to leverage further funding 

·       Eastern busway (Panmure-Botany) 

·       Airport-Puhinui state highway upgrade, bus/rail interchange and bus priority improvements
(part of the broader Airport-Botany rapid transit corridor) 

·       Lower cost East West Link 

·       Pukekohe electrification, third main Westfield-Wiri and further new electric trains 

·       Papakura-Drury motorway widening 

·       Mill Road (first phase) 

·       Penlink toll road and Albany-Silverdale bus improvements 

·       Significant safety programme 

·       Enhanced walking and cycling, bus priority and network optimisation programmes 

·       New infrastructure to enable greenfield growth.

3. Ensuring that transport supports regional development outcomes

We will work to ensure that people living in the regions get access to real economic opportunities, enabled by appropriate investment in transport. Sometimes these investments may be to create the conditions for the private sector to justify their own investment in a region. The intention is to see beneficial, cost-efficient and sustainable investments to achieve our priority outcomes.

The transport system enables all regions to take advantage of their unique strengths, by connecting people and businesses with domestic and international markets.

Tuawhenua Provincial
Growth Fund

The Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) was launched in February 2018. The Ministry is continuing to provide advice to the Provincial Development Unit and relevant PGF decision makers on transport projects that are submitted for PGF funding. The Ministry is also leading the North Auckland Line (NAL) business case, a key project being funded under the PGF. We have developed the principles and expectations for transport related projects that should be funded out of the PGF.

A number of transport projects have been announced to be funded through the PGF; in addition to the NAL business case they include:

·       Waipapa Intersection Improvement

·       Gisborne Inner Harbour Project

·       SH43 Business Case Development (Single Stage)

·       Wairoa to Napier Railway 

·       Rail Freight Opportunities - Whanganui Rail Upgrade

·       Rail Freight Opportunities - Kawerau/Murupara

·       Rail Freight Opportunities - New Plymouth Eastgate

·       Rail Freight Opportunities - South Port.

Upper North Island Supply
Chain Study

An independent working group has been established, supported by the Ministry of Transport, to review New Zealand’s freight and logistics sector for the Upper North Island, including ports, and to develop an understanding of the Upper North Island supply chain.

The work was publicly announced in February 2018, and the Cabinet paper and Terms of Reference were released. An internal project manager was engaged, as well as a group of internal staff to support the independent working group. An external contractor was also brought on board to assist with stakeholder engagement and the development establishment and management of the work programme. 

A shortlist of preferred candidates for the independent working group was established and the appointment process was undertaken.

Analytics and modelling

The Ministry has established a team dedicated to analytics and modelling, underpinning the Ministry’s policy development and enhancement of the evidence base, which is a direct response to the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) review, carried out by the State Services Commission in 2017. The Analytics and Modelling team is developing and improving our available evidence base, encouraging policy teams to both link to sector agencies and utilise existing models, ensuring not to duplicate efforts in the analytics across the transport sector. 

The team’s main effort is in support of policy teams within the Ministry, but it has also developed information available to all New Zealanders. Work undertaken in 2017/18 has included publishing analytics and information across the transport sector, producing a Transport Outlook: Future State looking out 25 years, a transport dashboard, and responding to PIF recommendations relating to the strengthening of the transport sector’s analytical capability.

Regional airport ownership work


The Ministry has started work to evaluate the role of regional airports and air services in the transport system. This work will result in the development of a framework to measure the economic contribution of airports. This framework will allow any central government investment to be strategically targeted to the areas and types of investment that will generate maximum benefit.

4. Transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon future

We will work to reduce carbon emissions from transport by substantially increasing the use of lower emissions modes, such as walking and cycling, frequent and affordable public transport, rail and sea freight. We will also encourage uptake of low emissions options, like electric vehicles and bio-fuels, and participate in international negotiations to reduce the impact of international air and maritime emissions. The transport system is positioned to meet the target for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050, through ongoing reductions in greenhouse gases.

Moving to a low emissions
vehicle fleet

The Government has progressively introduced measures to reduce the health and environmental impacts of vehicle emissions in New Zealand. The Ministry engaged with Ministers on pathways to lower emissions, leading to approval to proceed with a package of measures to transition to a low emissions vehicle fleet. We also provided input into zero-carbon legislation that establishes an independent climate change commission.


The Electric Vehicles Programme aims to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. The programme also aims to develop the electric vehicle market in New Zealand, and the supporting infrastructure for that market. High renewable energy levels mean that the emission reduction benefits of electric vehicles in New Zealand are greater than in most other countries, producing 80 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry is developing a low emissions vehicle programme (see above), which will encourage the uptake of electric vehicles. Registered electric vehicles have reached over 9,000, surpassing the target of 8,000 for 2018. We organised and chaired the Electric Vehicles Programme Leadership Group meeting in July.

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation


Under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), aircraft operators will be required to purchase offsets, or “emission units”, for the growth in CO2 emissions covered by the scheme. CORSIA aims to address any annual increase in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation above 2020 levels. New Zealand agreed to participate in CORSIA from 2021.

The Ministry has been preparing ahead of the monitoring, reporting and verification stage of CORSIA, which will commence from 1 January 2019. This work has included:

·       Reviewing and providing comments on behalf of New Zealand on the draft Standards and Recommended Practices.

·       Developing a Memorandum of Understanding with Air New Zealand to establish a data collection process
for the start of 2019. 

·       Participating in an International Civil Aviation Organisation regional seminar on CORSIA to identify the required actions needed to successfully implement the emissions reductions scheme. 

·       Committing to a capacity building and outreach plan to assist Pacific Island states in implementing CORSIA.

Marine Pollution
Annex VI)

The Ministry has been working on MARPOL Annex VI and will shortly be consulting with the public to determine whether or not New Zealand should accede to this Annex. MARPOL Annex VI addresses two main issues with respect to shipping emissions:

·       human health and local environments (including limits of sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions); and 

·       greenhouse gas emissions (primarily carbon dioxide [CO2])

International Maritime Organization intersessional meeting on greenhouse gases and Maritime Environment Protection

The Ministry participated in the International Maritime Organization meetings that resulted in the development of a strategy for shipping emissions. The strategy presents a clear and unambiguous signal for the shipping industry to phase out greenhouse gas emissions altogether. 

The strategy also keeps open the possibility of further increasing the level of ambition to bring emission reductions into line with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, i.e. to stay well under 2ºC below pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to stay below 1.5ºC.

5. Enabling affordable and easy access to allow all New Zealanders to make the most of opportunities

We will work to ensure that our transport system provides all New Zealanders with affordable and easy access to economic and social opportunities, and integrate with other priorities including urban planning and cleaner modes of transport, to create healthier, safer and more equitable living choices.

Urban Growth Agenda - Transport Infrastructure Funding & Financing

The purpose of the Urban Growth Agenda is to achieve competitive urban land markets, where supply meets demand and prices cover the cost of growth. The Ministry is providing advice on the Urban Growth Agenda, including transport and infrastructure funding and financing, as part of cross-agency work, with the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

We have ensured that transport is incorporated in the advice provided under the Funding and Financing Pillar led by Treasury and the Pro-growth Planning Pillar led by the Ministry for the Environment. We have also participated in Spatial Planning Pillar work on the Auckland Plan and the Hamilton – Auckland corridor planning, led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The Transport Pricing Pillar, which has been developed collaboratively with Auckland partners, has reported on international and local pricing lessons, identified criteria for assessing options, and developed a ‘long-list’ of pricing options. Work is progressing on a short-list of options, which includes commissioning research on the social and distributional impacts of pricing.

Enhancing transport


The Ministry has outlined ‘inclusive access’ in its outcomes framework, which articulates that we are seeking to enable all people to participate in society through access to social and economic opportunities, such as work, education, and healthcare.

The Ministry has contributed to the 2014–2018 Disability Action Plan June 2018 Progress Report, which outlines that the Ministry is investigating what data is already available on an ongoing basis, regarding the trips made on public transport by those with a disability, and looks at how we can use this more effectively to measure people’s accessibility. The Ministry has also been involved in developing a new Disability Action Plan and associated Disability Strategy. In addition to this, we have contributed to a report on New Zealand’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and have attended the Chief Executives’ Group on Disability Issues.

International Engagement Strategy


The aviation and maritime sectors are heavily regulated by international bodies, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization. The Ministry and transport agencies are developing an International Engagement Strategy, which will enable them to engage strategically to advance New Zealand’s key interests and ensure that New Zealand is not disadvantaged by regulations agreed to by these organisations.

The Ministry negotiated new air services agreements with Kiribati, Jordan, Morocco, and Slovenia. These agreements enable better access to markets and travel for New Zealanders.

6. Delivering a transport system which is resilient, safe to use and manages and promotes health and other social benefits

We will focus on delivering a transport system that is resilient, secure, safe to use, and promotes health and other social benefits.

The transport system is designed to manage the risks of natural and human-made disruptive events, to cope with shocks and stresses, and to swiftly recover from disruption. It encourages physically active travel and protects people from transport-related injuries, harmful pollution and deaths.

Road Safety Strategy


The Ministry is working across the sector to lead the development of a new road safety strategy. This addresses a commitment to putting safety at the heart of all decision-making in transport so that our city streets, rural roads and state highways are more forgiving. In 2017/18, the Ministry:

·       Established the programme and defined the overall approach and plan for the development of the strategy and action plan.

·       Established governance arrangements for the programme and held initial governance meetings with the National Road Safety Committee and the Road Safety Ministerial Advisory Group, who endorsed the approach and plan.

·       Undertook preparation for the next phase of the programme, setting up a number of reference groups to investigate current road safety issues and identify appropriate approaches to reducing these. This work will involve stakeholder groups as well as local and central government agencies.

Strategic resilience and security


The Ministry is continuing to work across the sector on a transport resilience strategic framework. The work covers all transport modes, and is designed to provide a high-level framework setting out clear objectives, key focus areas and actions that the Ministry and transport agencies will focus on to improve the resilience of the transport system. 

Kaikoura earthquake recovery

The Ministry facilitated regular oversight group meetings, and agreed to the continuation of this oversight group. This provides ongoing support for the recovery work. 

 7. Ensuring investment and regulatory settings further government priorities

The Ministry will ensure that investment, regulatory and international settings further the Government’s transport and wider priorities. The regulatory environment will be sufficiently flexible to quickly respond to emerging business models.

of transport entities


The Ministry seeks to engage with Crown entities as a ‘critical friend’ (at times acting as an adviser or sector leader) but at the same time it must not undermine the boards’ direct line of accountability to the Minister, and must not prejudice its primary role as agent and trusted adviser to the Minister. In its monitoring role, the Ministry advises and assists the Minister with appointments to each board, helping to set and clarify expectations for each entity, and reviewing the performance of the board and the Crown entity overall.

We commenced a review of our contract with MetService, and commissioned a report on the economic value provided by this contract. (The contract is for MetService to provide weather warnings and forecasts for New Zealand that enables us to meet our international obligations.)

Transport Sector Funding Review Programme



The Ministry has a role in ensuring transport agencies have the necessary resources to perform the role the system expects of them. We have supported the NZ Transport Agency Rail Safety Regulator, the Aviation Security Service and Maritime New Zealand as they have progressed funding reviews throughout 2017/18 and provided advice to Ministers on these reviews. We have provided guidance to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

In 2017/18 we have also been working with the NZ Transport Agency to plan their future schedule of funding reviews and will be developing these into the Transport Sector Funding Review Programme in 2018/19. 

Evaluation Strategy and Programme


The Ministry is building its internal capability for evaluation, including developing an Evaluation Strategy and an associated Evaluation Programme. These documents coordinate with other related planning documents to prioritise resource for key projects, and support these with robust and appropriate evaluation. The ultimate aim is to provide best quality advice to decision makers on the effectiveness of interventions. 

As the necessary evaluation capability develops and matures, the Ministry will seek to more widely engage across the sector, to more fully embed monitoring and evaluation as a fundamental part of the transport evidence base. 

Regulatory stewardship


One of the Ministry’s key leadership roles is to take responsibility for the stewardship of the transport regulatory system, in close conjunction with the transport agencies. To deliver on regulatory stewardship we take a whole of system view, and a proactive, collaborative approach to monitoring, reviewing and maintaining the system, and treat our regulatory system as an asset that requires long term investment. One way the Ministry meets its stewardship role is by managing the transport rules programme. The transport rules programme is a rolling programme of new principal rules, revocations and amendments that is managed by the Ministry.

·       Work completed in 2017/18 included:

·       Achievement of the 2017/18 Rules Programme in line with expectations.

·       Establishment of a Regulatory Policy team.

·       Initiation of a collaborative regulatory design model across the transport system.

·       Development of funding principles to underpin transport’s regulatory system.

·       Collaborative agreement on a work programme for key transport projects for 2018/19.

·       Embedding our regulatory stewardship view into the Ministry’s approach to projects, including the Road Safety Strategy and the Civil Aviation Bill.


Technology and innovation work programme


The Ministry has continued to advance its understanding of the role that future technologies will play in the transport system. A focus for 2017/18 has been developing a high level vision for integrating unmanned aircraft into our aviation system. This will continue to be progressed throughout 2018/19. We have also worked with Land Information New Zealand to progress the development of a business case for a Satellite-Based Augmentation System. 

The Ministry has also scoped two new projects that will be progressed in 2018/19, which are aimed at repositioning our technology and innovation work programme to place a greater emphasis on understanding how new transport technologies could impact future regulatory and investment decisions. This includes a project to understand how new technologies could help to reduce emissions in the freight sector, and a policy and regulatory roadmap for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Transport Outlook


In November 2017, the Ministry released the Transport Outlook: Future State, which provides 25-year projections of transport demand, greenhouse gas emissions, and health impacts by all modes for five different scenarios. The projections are based on a set of models, which are available for downloading on the Ministry’s website. The projections and the models are designed to provide a consistent and continually improved information resource for anyone who participates in the transport policy and planning process. 


Next >>