Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will continue to work with the Ministry of Transport and Treasury on the impacts the COVID-19 crisis is having on the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) and National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). We will update Approved Organisations as and when there is a change to the status quo.
Waka Kotahi 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.
Waka Kotahi will continue to fund all activity class programmes of work that are currently funded and underway. Councils should continue to submit claims through the Transport Investment Online (TIO) tool in the usual manner.
All claims will be subject to the rigour of existing policies and processes. However, we recognise at this time that not all councils have the usual resources to hand. There may be delays in submitting claims and other reporting. While we accept this, it is beneficial to councils to claim promptly.
The policy around the Funding Assistance Rate (FAR) has not been changed at this time with the exception of public transport services. Waka Kotahi and Ministry of Transport (MoT) have released policy guidance around additional public transport funding that will be made available to councils during the COVID-19 crisis.
As per existing policy, a range of criteria are required to be met to enable Waka Kotahi to enter into FAR adjustments if there is evidence of genuine difficulty in raising local or Waka Kotahi share in the short term - the reasons for the adjustment could include:
a. significantly lower local or NLTF revenue than forecast, requiring a pullback in approved organisation or Waka Kotahi expenditure
b. the relevant organisation is at the limit of its approved policy or ability to raise or draw down debt so cannot fund the activity within the desired time frame
c. competing priorities also being delivered by the organisation restrict its ability to fund its share.
At this stage we are uncertain as to the NLTF revenue, under a. above.
While we are in the early stages of beginning to understand the impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, we do expect all organisations to use their best efforts to forecast the timing and size of their claims or funding requirements. Robust forecasting is vital as:
a. for the organisation, it is a fundamental part of its management of forward funding requirements from rate-payers, Waka Kotahi and other sources
b. for Waka Kotahi, it is critical to its debt and cashflow management.
Approved Organisations are required to provide forecasts through Transport Investment Online (TIO) programme monitor of when they expect to make claims and the size of those claims.
Monitoring of progress and forecasting of claims should provide all organisations with a view of the need to apply for an adjustment of their projects/programmes through cost scope and cashflow adjustments.
Organisations must inform their Waka Kotahi representative as soon as they are aware of the need for any cost scope or cash flow adjustment. This includes the release of any surplus funds that are not required to deliver the planned activity or activities.