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Through its Research Programme, the NZ Transport Agency invests in innovative and relevant research which plays a critical role in contributing to the government's goals for transport.

The results of Transport Agency research must be readily applicable to interventions that can be cost effectively applied in New Zealand in the short-to-medium term for longer term impacts. This page lists all active Transport Agency Research Programme research projects and being updated on an ongoing basis as research is completed.

For further information, you can either:

Key research areas

The projects listed below are currently active. They are arranged according to seven key research areas, namely:


For information on any of these projects, please contact the research organisation directly or email

Economic development

To improve the valuation of economic benefits of land transport activities.

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Quantifying the influence of internet communication and commerce on transport demand Opus Research, Opus International Consultants Ltd
2016/17 Impacts of demographic changes on the New Zealand land transport system Infometrics Consulting Ltd
2016/17 A pilot study to determine the relative value of non-market transport impacts of investment Resource Economics Ltd
2016/17 The impact on the transport sector of new technology adoption and the rate of technology diffusion (the S curve) PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd
2016/17 Next generation New Zealand transport models Traffic Design Group Ltd

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Activity management

To improve the performance of land transport activities and assets.

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Condition assessment process for unsealed roads University of Auckland
2016/17 Performance benefits of polymer modified bitumen binders for thin surfacings Opus Research, Opus International Consultants
2015/16 Optimal life cycle management of bridges Opus International Consultants Ltd

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Integrated land use and transport systems

To more efficiently manage transport and integration with land use.

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Factors affecting cycling levels of service Opus Research, Opus International Consultants Ltd

Transport demand management

To manage the people and freight demand for transport and provide impetus for changing transport choices.

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Technology related transport skill requirements and availability Business & Economic Research Ltd
2016/17 The New Zealand public's readiness for connected- and autonomous-vehicles (including driverless), car and ride sharing schemes and the social impacts arising from these University of Waikato

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Safety, security and public health

To improve the safety, security and public health of users, communities and the sector workforce through improvements to the land transport system.

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Drivers' response to warnings/information provided by in-vehicle applications/systems University of Waikato
2016/17 Post impact care – the fifth pillar – how well New Zealand delivers post impact care through to hospitalisation Opus Research, Opus International Consultants Ltd
2015/16 Role of substance impaired driving on medical review processes Monash University Accident Research Centre


Human factor considerations for driver licensing point system

University of New South Wales


Identifying and managing priority safety risks for rail

Navigatus Consulting Ltd

2015/16 The crash performance of seagull intersections and left turn slip lanes MWH New Zealand Ltd

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Environmental impacts of land transport

To measure the impacts of land transport construction, operation and maintenance emissions/pollutants on the natural and built environment.

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Testing New Zealand vehicles to measure real-world fuel use and exhaust emissions Emission Impossible Ltd
2016/17 Great kiwi road trips — Improving understanding of visitor expectations on key journeys to grow landmark tourism destinations for regional economic benefit Opus Research, Opus International Consultants


Understanding the value of meeting the requirements of environmental legislation

Tonkin and Taylor Ltd

2015/16 Evidential basis for community response to land transport noise AECOM New Zealand Ltd

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Sustainable land transport

To improve the sustainability of the land transport system.

Performance monitoring

Year commissionedProject titleResearcher
2016/17 Identifying freight performance indicators and contextual indicators of freight

Ernst and Young Transaction Advisory Services Ltd

2016/17 Developing an approach to measure predictable journeys for public transport: bus, rail and ferry

Opus International Consultants

2015/16 Best practice approaches for the development of legislation University of Waikato

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