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This page introduces the Land Transport Benefits Framework, outlining how it is structured and explaining key concepts.

What is the benefits framework?

The Land Transport Benefits Framework is a consistent set of benefits and measures that makes it possible to consider, measure and report on all impacts of our investment in land transport. Benefits and measures from the framework must be used in all planning and business cases for transport investment.

Diagram showing the structure of the Land Transport Benefits Framework, starting with transport outcomes, to benefit clusters, to benefits, some of which can be monetised, and measures, which are either quantitative or qualitative

Structure of the Land Transport Benefits Framework

The benefits framework is made up of 25 benefits, 12 of which can be monetised. Beneath the benefits are associated measures, which are either quantitative or qualitative. The benefits sit beneath five transport outcomes and are grouped into clusters. The benefits framework is aligned with the Ministry of Transport’s Transport Outcomes Framework and Treasury’s Living Standards Framework.

The complete benefits framework

Components of the benefits framework

Transport outcomes

The top level of the framework are the five transport outcomes. These come from the Ministry of Transport’s Transport Outcomes Framework, which sets a purpose for the transport system centred around the wellbeing of New Zealanders and the liveability of places. It outlines five outcome areas to contribute to this purpose:

The government may sometimes prioritise some outcomes over others, depending on social, economic and environmental circumstances, and the policies of the government of the day.

Transport Outcomes Framework on the Ministry of Transport website(external link)

The Transport Outcomes Framework was developed to align and contribute to the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework, which represents the Treasury’s perspective on what matters for New Zealanders’ wellbeing, now and into the future.

Living Standards Framework on the Treasury website(external link)

Benefit clusters

Benefit clusters draw together groups of benefits into a common type. There are 12 benefit clusters:

  1. Changes in user safety
  2. Changes in perceptions of safety
  3. Changes in human health
  4. Changes in impact of unplanned disruptive events on access to social and economic opportunities
  5. Changes in transport costs
  6. Wider economic impact
  7. Changes in natural environment
  8. Changes in climate
  9. Changes in resource efficiency
  10. Changes in access to social and economic opportunities
  11. Changes in liveability of places
  12. Changes in te ao Māori values.

Benefits

A benefit is a measurable change resulting from an investment. It could be either an advantage (positive/benefit) or disadvantage (negative/disbenefit). The term ‘impact’ is also used in the benefits framework as a substitute for the term ‘benefit’ to recognise the multi-directional flow of benefits.

There are 25 benefits in the framework.

Measuring benefits: monetised, quantitative and qualitative

Of the 25 benefits:

  • 12 can be monetised.
  • 21 have measures associated with them – either quantitative or qualitative. 
A monetised benefit translates the forecast long-term (multiple decades) accrued costs and benefits (taking into account broader context, economic considerations and impacts) into a common unit (dollar value). 
A quantitative measure is a benefit measure concerned with a quantity – it is often based on a number or percentage. It measures an impact you can count.
A qualitative measure is a benefit measure concerned with a quality. It is often descriptive. It measures an impact you can describe.

While the measures are primarily associated with one benefit, some measures can be used to provide evidence of other benefits as well. For example, 10.2.1 People – mode share, associated with 10.2 Impact on mode choice, might also be used as evidence of other benefits, such as 8.1 Impact on greenhouse gas emissions or 3.1 Impact of mode on physical and mental health

10.2 Impact on mode choice

8.1 Impact on greenhouse gas emissions

3.1 Impact of mode on physical and mental health.

Measures should also be selected for benefits that are monetised, when available. Benefit measures will be used beyond the assessment of options in the business case in order to monitor benefits realisation in the medium to long term.

Monetisation is not the same as measurement for the purposes of the benefits management approach and, although related, they serve different purposes.

For information about the difference between monetised benefits and benefit measures, see 'Monetisation and measurement of benefits' in 'Principles for selecting benefits and measures'.

Principles for selecting benefits and measures

Further information