The NZ Transport Agency does not directly provide public transport, but enables the provision of these services through its planning and investment role, which includes:
- providing guidance for regional councils in planning their networks and developing regional public transport plans
- approving procurement procedures for public transport services
- investing in public transport through the National Land Transport Programme
- monitoring public transport performance and evaluating the Public Transport Operating Model
- commissioning research to inform further policy making and public transport delivery
- planning and investing to enable access for people with disabilities and people over 65.
In 2013, the government made changes to the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (external link) to implement the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM). PTOM is a change to the planning, procurement and management of public transport which aims to grow patronage with less reliance on subsidy. A key focus is on a more collaborative approach between regional councils, territorial authorities and operators to improve network design and incentivise more investment to deliver improved services. This is currently being implemented by regional councils.