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NLTP information for councils in relation to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact on the revenue and costs for both councils and the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), creating considerable uncertainty.

The COVID-19 disruptions are causing higher public transport operating costs, lower National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) and public transport fare revenue, as well as increased project costs through supply chain delays, material and labour shortages, and other expenses.

We’re asking that councils continue to forecast, submit claims and request any funding adjustments through Transport Investment Online (TIO) in the usual manner. This will ensure we manage NLTF cash flow, approve funding for new projects or accommodate cost increases for existing projects in a timely way.

While there is no change to existing requirements, both the NLTF and councils are facing greater financial constraints than existed at the beginning of the 2021-24 NLTP.

We’re working with the Ministry of Transport and Treasury on the COVID-19 impacts on public transport and keeping them informed of other related costs and revenue reductions. While we’ve not received any Crown funding for the impacts of the Delta outbreak, we’re better prepared than we were in April 2020, given our improved access to debt facilities.

Continue to forecast as accurately as possible

We’re asking councils to monitor costs and forecast the timing and size of funding needs as accurately as possible. When this information is entered into TIO’s Programme Monitor please provide an explanation in the comments box, if the forecast is not in line with claims to date.

Robust forecasting, including any changes to services or deferral of projects, is a fundamental part of managing councils forward funding requirements from ratepayers, Waka Kotahi and other sources.

For Waka Kotahi, it is critical to our debt, cashflow management and ability to approve projects or cost increases to existing projects.

Prompt requests for adjustments and release of surpluses

We’re also asking that councils inform their Investment Advisor as soon as possible of any adjustments and release any surplus funds.

Requests for new funding for improvement projects

We will continue to consider all applications for funding of activities through the NLTP in the usual manner. Investment decisions will be subject to the usual policies and processes.

If there is a cost increase because of the pandemic then we ask that councils inform their Investment Advisor, clearly distinguishing between COVID-19 other cost increases.

Existing funding commitments

We’ll continue to fund all activity class work programmes currently funded and underway where they remain within their approved amounts. We recognise that councils may not have the usual resources to hand during the pandemic which could result in delays in submitting claims and other reporting. It is beneficial to continue to claim promptly if possible.

More detail can on claims and forecasting processes can be found in the NLTF investment claims and obligations policy in the Planning and Investment Knowledge Base