This page introduces how the Land Transport Benefits Framework and benefits management feeds into investment decisions for the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). This includes:

  • assessment tools that help with optioneering and decision-making during business case development
  • the Investment Prioritisation Method used by Waka Kotahi when making funding decisions
  • how the Investment Prioritisation Method aligns the benefits framework with the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS).

Benefits and the assessment tools

The assessment tools that can assist with choosing the preferred option (optioneering) and assessment as part of business case development are:

  • Early Assessment Sifting Tool (EAST)
  • multi-criteria analysis (MCA)
  • appraisal summary table (AST).

EAST can assist with coarse screening when there are a large number of alternatives or options to consider. MCA is used as part of most business case optioneering processes to help investors and project teams evaluate alternatives and options at the longlist and at the shortlist phase to help identify a preferred solution.


The EAST and MCA assess each alternative or option against the investment objectives, and other criteria for the proposed investment. Investment objectives specify the strategic outcomes for the proposed investment, and are derived from information gathered during conversations in the development of the strategic case around the identified problem/opportunity and the benefits associated with solving the problem.

MCA is used to evaluate multiple criteria, both quantitative and qualitative, and considers ‘impacts’ across a number of areas, including impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and te ao Māori. Benefits and measures from the benefits framework can be used as appropriate, as well as any centralised benefits data that is available, to assist in making comparative decisions for alternatives and options.

An AST summarises monetised benefits and quantitative and qualitative benefit measures, alongside whole-of-life costs. It aligns with the benefits framework and is a requirement when seeking funding approval. An AST is required for each short-listed option and then is updated for the preferred option. An AST for the preferred option is uploaded into TIO as part of seeking funding approval. 8.1 Impact on greenhouse gas emissions and 12.1 Impacts on te ao Māori are mandatory. 

Optioneering tools

8.1 Impact on greenhouse gas emissions

12.1 Impacts on te ao Māori

Benefits and the Investment Prioritisation Method for NLTP funding

Investment prioritisation happens at two stages:

  • when an investment is put forward for inclusion in the NLTP, and
  • when an investment business case is put forward for funding.

At both of these stages, the Investment Prioritisation Method is used to assess the proposed investment.

The Investment Prioritisation Method for the 2021–24 NLTP has three factors:

  • GPS alignment
  • scheduling
  • efficiency.

Benefits are an important part of this, with monetised benefits being used to assess efficiency, and other benefits being part of assessing GPS alignment.

Investment Prioritisation Method for the 2021–24 NLTP

Benefits and GPS alignment

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) sets out the government’s transport priorities for the next 10 years, and is updated every three years. It gives direction on how funding should be allocated.

The Investment Prioritisation Method’s criteria for assessing whether a proposed investment aligns with the GPS is based on the benefits framework. It maps the benefits against the GPS priorities:

  • safety
  • better travel options
  • improving freight connections
  • climate change.

How benefits relate to GPS priorities (2021–24 NLTP)

Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (Ministry of Transport website)(external link)