Over a period of a year - between June 1997 and July 1998, and during April and May 1999 approximately 14,000 people were surveyed from 7,000 randomly sampled households.
Interviewed in person at their homes, people were asked to describe all of their travel by cars, motorcycles and other motor vehicles, by train or plane, by bicycle, and on foot for two particular days (called travel days). As these days were spread out over a whole year, information could be scaled up to represent a year's travel by all New Zealanders.
Each leg of a trip was recorded in full detail. For example, someone going to work may drive from their home to a parking building and then walk to their workplace. Each of these two legs (one by car, one on foot) was recorded in detail - including time leaving, time arriving, what sort of parking was used, and how many roads were crossed from parking building to work. Even the make, model, and other details about the car driven were recorded. The distance of the driving trip was computer-calculated by locating where the person's home was, where the parking building was, and by measuring the road distance between the two.