Frequently asked questions for the Investment Decision-Making Framework (IDMF) Review Programme

1. What is the IDMF?

The Investment Decision-Making Framework (IDMF) is used by the Transport Agency to assess and prioritise investment in land transport.

The Transport Agency uses the framework to identify, assess and prioritise National Land Transport Fund (NLTP) investment proposals.

2. What is the IDMF Review?

The NZ Transport Agency and Ministry of Transport are jointly reviewing the framework that guides investment in New Zealand’s land transport system - the Investment Decision Making Framework (IDMF).

The review was prompted by changes in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018 (GPS), which places more emphasis on social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes in transport planning. We also want to make sure it is easy to use and understand, and supports delivery of a better transport system.

For more information about the GPS, see the Ministry of Transport’s website, or the Minister’s media release.

Ministry of Transport’s GPS webpage(external link)
Media release: Record transport investment to grow the economy and improve safety(external link) (28 June 2018)

3. Why are we doing the IDMF review?

The framework is being reviewed to ensure investment in the land transport system delivers on the Government’s social, economic and environmental priorities.

This means a fundamental change for land transport; putting people and place, rather than vehicles and networks, at the centre of our decision making and connecting people to family and friends, employment, and education opportunities.

To reflect this change, the Transport Agency is reviewing the framework and criteria it uses to decide which transport projects will be funded by the National Land Transport Fund.

4. How long will the review take?

The IDMF review will take place throughout 2019 and will be implemented in mid-late 2020, in time for development of NLTP 2021-24. Further changes are possible for NLTP periods in the future.

5. Who’s involved in the process?

The review is being undertaken by the Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport, and includes Local Government NZ (LGNZ) and Treasury.

6. What will be different after the review?

The most significant change after the review will be a different approach to assessing and approving projects for funding. This will include;

  • A system-based approach
    Ensuring assessment and prioritisation takes account of the impacts of a decision on other parts of the wider transport eco-system, and that there is a clear understanding of the impacts on communities and the environment.
  • Mode neutral approach and multi-modal transport choices
    All transport modes will be considered when planning, regulating and funding transport, and decisions will be based on delivering positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.
  • Delivery of positive social, economic and environmental outcomes
    The framework will have comprehensive tools and guidelines (including for investment assessment and economic appraisal) for considering and assessing a wide range of social, environmental and economic costs and benefits as part of proposal development.
  • Robust, transparent and easy to understand
    People will know how, when and why to apply the tools, rules and processes within the decision-making framework and they can easily see how the process works from beginning to end.

7. What will the outputs be?

  • New and updated investment principles and policies.
  • Updated and new monetised benefits.
  • Better understanding, measurement, and consideration of how transport investment impacts social, environmental, cultural, and economic outcomes.
  • Changes to how investment proposals are assessed and prioritised.
  • Improvements to website navigation and new or updated resources.

8. Will the changes impact the funding available?

No. The changes will not impact on available funding for land transport projects. Funding levels are set by the GPS.

However, proposals will need to cover a much wider range of benefits and costs, so that social, environmental and economic outcomes are appropriately considered.

9. Is the Business Case process changing?

Interim improvements to how the Business Case Approach is applied are underway, but it will also be reviewed as part of this work. This may result in further changes.

10. How will it affect the RLTP/LTP development timeframes?

The aim is for the results of the review to be available by June 2020, so they can be used in the development of RLTPs, RPTPs and LTPs for the 2021-24 NLTP.

11. How will I find out about any changes?

We will maintain communication throughout the programme to provide early advice of changes and are developing a change management plan. This will include providing information, training and ongoing support.

12. Where can I go for more information?

You can email the team on:

13. How does the IDMF review relate to the GPS?

GPS 2018 signalled a significant shift in investment for land transport, and for the expected outcomes from investments. It placed greater emphasis on the impact of land transport planning on social, environmental and economic outcomes.

It also signals a significant change in the way we prioritise safety, and the importance of transport infrastructure in leading growth, responding to social deprivation, and shaping towns and cities that people are proud to live in, work in, and visit.

The Transport Agency decisions must consistent with the GPS.

14. What is the GPS?

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) sets out the government’s priorities for land transport investment over the next 10 years, and is reviewed every three years.

You can find out more about the GPS on the Ministry of Transport’s website(external link).