In 2017, the Ministry identified a new purpose – ‘enabling New Zealanders to flourish’. A flourishing New Zealand requires a transport system that provides for healthy and safe people, resilience and security, inclusive access, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

The Ministry sets the long-term strategies to enable this to happen. We assess the trends occurring within New Zealand and overseas, we model key outcomes, we research and evaluate, and we work to understand the use of new technologies for transport. We work closely with a range of agencies across Government where we have common outcomes – for example, work on economic development, and climate change.

Informed by this, we advise ministers and develop policies to advance the broad set of outcomes that transport can shape and influence. 

To achieve our purpose, the Ministry works in three ways:

Providing clear leadership and influence

The Ministry provides leadership across the transport system and in the wider government sector, making connections and influencing across the network of transport users, providers and regulators. We assist the Government to set and explain the strategic direction for the transport system and its inter-relationship with other systems. We also engage with our international counterparts, and with international regulatory bodies, to ensure that New Zealanders and their export goods can travel freely, and we can influence the development of key international standards that impact on New Zealand’s transport system.

Signalling investment and revenue priorities

The Ministry advises the Government on the appropriate mechanisms for raising revenue for the transport system, and how that revenue should be spent to maximise value from investments in the transport system. We do this through the investment signals set out in the Government Policy Statement on land transport, through providing advice on appropriate funding mechanisms to deliver outcomes, and through providing advice on funding across all transport sectors, including maritime, aviation, rail, and search and rescue.

Undertaking our stewardship responsibilities

The Ministry has a responsibility under the State Sector Act to provide long-term stewardship of the transport system. To do this, we work closely with the transport Crown entities on a regulatory stewardship work programme, which is aimed at ensuring the transport regulatory system is fit for purpose and forward leaning.

As part of our stewardship responsibilities we also monitor the transport Crown entities (see next page) and a variety of other Government owned transport assets including the Joint Venture Airports to ensure they are meeting system objectives. The role is set out in section 27A of the Crown Entities Act. In its monitoring role, the Ministry aims to support the entities to improve performance while not prejudicing its primary role as agent and trusted adviser to the Minister. 

In addition to performance monitoring, the Ministry provides advice and assists the Minister with appointments to the Crown entity boards, setting and clarifying expectations for each entity, and reviewing the performance of the boards overall.

The New Zealand Government Transport Sector
Minister of Transport and Associate Ministers of Transport

The Ministry of Transport provides impartial, expert advice to the Government to help it meet its objectives
for transport. This includes advice on legislative, regulatory and policy settings, funding levels and priorities,
and Crown agency governance, performance and accountability. The Ministry also represents the Government’s
transport interests internationally.

Civil Aviation Authority

Establishes and monitors civil aviation safety and security standards, carries out air accident and incident investigations, and promotes aviation safety and personal security.

Aviation Security Service

Provides aviation security services for international and domestic air operations, including airport security,
and passenger and
baggage screening.


Maritime New Zealand

Promotes commercial and recreational vessel safety, marine environment protection standards, and monitors port and
ship security.

Controls entry to the maritime system, through granting of maritime documents and inspection of ships, and advises on international conventions.

Investigates maritime accidents and coordinates category II search and rescue.

Provides oil spill preparedness and response, navigation aids and the distress and safety radio communications system.

NZ Transport Agency

Allocates funding for land transport infrastructure and services through the National Land Transport Programme. 

Manages access to
the transport system through driver and vehicle licensing, vehicle inspections and rules development.

Provides land transport safety and sustainability information and education.

Manages the State highway network, including maintenance, improvements and operations activities.

Transport Accident Investigation Commission 

Investigates significant
air, maritime and rail accidents and incidents, to determine their cause and circumstances, so that similar occurrences are avoided in future.

City Rail Link Limited

Full governance, operational and financial responsibility for the Auckland City Rail Link, with clear delivery targets and performance expectations.

Established on 1 July 2017 as a Schedule
4A company under the Public Finance Act.
It is jointly owned by the Crown and the Auckland Council.

Three State-owned enterprises
with transport functions

Local government

New Zealand Police

Airways Corporation of
New Zealand Limited

Provides air navigation and air traffic management services on a commercial basis. It is also responsible for air traffic services in 28.8 million square kilometres of international airspace managed by New Zealand.

Meteorological Service
of New Zealand Limited (MetService)

Provides public weather forecasting services and meteorological information for international air navigation under contract to the Civil Aviation Authority.

KiwiRail Holdings Limited
(trading as KiwiRail Group)

Manages the rail and ferry businesses owned by the New Zealand Government

Local authorities own, maintain and develop New Zealand’s local road network and perform important regulatory transport functions. Local government funds land transport infrastructure and public transport services alongside central government, and is responsible for transport planning and land use planning. Some local authorities own seaports and airports, or share ownership with the Crown.

Provides road policing services, including
speed management, drink/drugged driving enforcement, seatbelt enforcement, a visible road safety presence and commercial vehicle investigation. Also provides maritime patrol units.



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