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Investment Assessment Framework aligned with GPS

Waka Kotahi updated its Investment Assessment Framework (IAF) ahead of the 2018–21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) to reflect the 2018 Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport and the key priorities of safety and access.

The IAF is the framework Waka Kotahi uses to assess and prioritise projects and programmes for inclusion in the NLTP. It helps our investment partners to understand how projects will be prioritised under the GPS and to frame-up Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTPs).

Learning modules on the IAF are available on Waka Kotahi’s Learning Zone.

Investment Assessment Framework (IAF) [PDF, 707 KB]
IAF frequently asked questions [PDF, 49 KB]
Learning Zone IAF modules(external link)

To request a login for Learning Zone, please email

Feedback and responses

We shared Waka Kotahi’s draft IAF in April for feedback and received 400 comments over 34 submissions from 32 organisations, two members of the public, and Waka Kotahi staff. Overall feedback supported the direction of the draft IAF, the assessment process, factors and criteria.

Here is a summary of the feedback we received and our responses.

Feedback theme and summary Response

Assessment of safety projects and safety benefit-cost ratio (BCR)

  • Mixed views were given supporting and opposing the three proposed options in the draft IAF.
  • Support for the assumption that safe and appropriate speeds will be used as a baseline for the calculation of BCRs.
  • The IAF has been updated to support the delivery of improved safety outcomes. This includes:
    • providing for streamlined assessment of site-specific activities within a wider programme to ensure the right option is selected for the spatial context.
    • clarifying safe speeds under the speed management guide as the base scenario for investment options analysis.
    • setting a consistent approach for determining when to discount travel time changes within the context of safety programmes.

Assessment criteria consistency, clarity and assessment process

  • General support was expressed for results alignment criteria.
  • Requests to clarify many aspects including definitions of some words.
  • Clarification of word definitions, criteria and the assessment process have been provided and can be found on the PIKB.

Assessment of complex/ multi-benefit interventions

  • Support expressed for safety packages in the context of holistic transport planning, and clarity sought on how to assess complex multi-benefit proposals.
  • Support for a “One Network Approach” that optimises local road and state highway maintenance and improvements.
  • IAF guidance on how programme business cases are assessed has been improved. This includes guidance relating to activities involving multiple stakeholders and non-transport interventions.

Benefit-cost ratio (BCR) and prioritisation

  • Concerns and confusion regarding developing packages and programmes, and over-emphasis of BCR in the prioritisation table.
  • Clarity sought regarding ways to explain benefits that are not able to be defined in monetary terms.
  • Further information has been provided about the development and assessment of packages and programmes (NB: results alignment has a higher weighting than BCR).
  • The Transport Agency has begun a review of its Economic Evaluation Manual and investment decision making and will reflect any outcomes of the work in the second-stage GPS.

Business case approach process

  • Submissions conflated the role of the IAF with the business case approach, and also identified some challenges in preparing business cases.
  • Waka Kotahi will provide clarity on the role of business cases and the principles of the business case approach within the overall assessment process.

Levels of service (LoS)

  • Confusion regarding how the One Network Road Classification (ONRC) provides customer levels of service.
  • Also concern around the gap and urgency for Levels of Service measures for active modes and public transport.
  • Waka Kotahi will be updating the ONRC to cover all modes of transport, in conjunction with the Road Efficiency Group.
  • Information on interim levels of service frameworks for other modes has been improved.