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This page relates to the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme.


To be considered for funding, approved organisations and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (state highways) must develop activities for inclusion and prioritisation within a regional land transport plan. The programmes must take into account regional priorities and the strategic environment.

The paragraphs below describe the general requirements for developing public transport, road, and walking and cycling improvement activities . 

Funding sources

Approved organisations, Waka Kotahi (state highways) and regional transport committees may propose the funding sources for activities they include in their transport programmes and RLTPs, based on the criteria that apply to the sources.


  • Role of the funding approving entity

    Where Waka Kotahi is the funding approver, it will make the final decision as to which funding source will be applied to assist the activity when it comes forward for funding approval. Where another party is the funding approver for part of the activity, eg for Crown funding grants, Waka Kotahi will clarify which activities will qualify for funding from NLTF and receive funding from the NLTF. In some cases the decision may be applied retrospectively to ensure compliance with Waka Kotahi policy, eg R funds policy.

    Some activities may be delivered using Crown funding external to the NLTF, eg Urban Cycleway Fund. The rules and process applying to the approval and use of these Crown funds will be set by the government. Where projects are jointly funded from Crown and NLTF funds, the NLTF funding must be approved by Waka Kotahi and applied in accordance with the planning and investment principles set out in this Knowledge Base.

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Safety audits

Waka Kotahi requires that a safety audit procedure must be applied to the development of any improvement or renewal activity that involves vehicular traffic, and/or walking and/or cycling, proposed for funding assistance from the National Land Transport Fund. It does not apply to auditing of the existing network or specialist applications, such as traffic control at roadwork sites.


  • Undertaking a safety audit

    Safety audits must be undertaken at key stages of a project’s development. The latest audit report and the project manager’s response to issues are to be attached to any Transport Investment Online funding application.

    Road safety audit procedures for projects (Waka Kotahi May 2013) provides guidance in relation to safety audits. It includes a sample completed audit form, a sample completed exemption form and checklists.

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  • Exemption

    If the approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (state highways) considers there is justification for not conducting a safety audit at a particular stage, then they must complete an exemption declaration for that stage, keep it on file for audit purposes and attach it to any Transport Investment Online funding application.

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  • Non-motorised user review

    Improvement activities should consider the need for a non-motorised user (NMU) review. 

    The objectives are to:

    •  encourage the design team to take all reasonable opportunities to improve the service offered to NMUs
    •  ensure that the current and future needs of NMUs are recognised and developed within a roading project
    •  prevent conditions for NMUs being worsened by the introduction of roading projects
    •  document design decisions that affect NMUs.
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 Cost estimation

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi business areas are expected to provide robust cost estimates for their activities prepared by competent people.

In some instances, risk analysis may be required.


  • Cost estimate

    The cost estimation process should follow the principles set out in the Waka Kotahi Cost estimation manual, SM014.

    The cost estimate is to be uploaded to the TIO funding application as supporting information.

    For all improvement projects over $20 million estimated construction cost, Waka Kotahi requires the parallel cost estimation process as set out in the Waka Kotahi Cost estimation manual, SM014 .

    A summary of the parallel cost estimate and reconciliation is to be attached to the TIO funding application as supporting information.

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  • Risk analysis

    Where risk analysis is required to provide 5th and 95th percentile cost estimates, the results are expected to reflect the project phase and type of cost estimate, eg a feasibility estimate would be expected to have a much wider range around the expected estimate than a construction estimate.

    Please see the Waka Kotahi Risk Management Practice Guide (Minimum Standard Z/44) for further details including project cost thresholds and required approach to risk analysis. 

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Peer review

Waka Kotahi reserves the right to require a peer review of an investment proposal. 

Currently, Waka Kotahi requires a peer review of improvement activity business cases with a likely implementation cost of over $5 million or that involves a significant level of risk.

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (state highways) are encouraged to have small projects (between $1m and $5m implementation cost) peer reviewed in certain circumstances. Refer to the peer review guidelines for further information.

Risk assessment, analysis and management

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi are expected to apply risk assessment and management processes to the development and implementation/construction of their activities that are appropriate to the scale and risk involved, following the guidance and applying the procedures set out in the Waka Kotahi Risk management process manual.

The risk register and management plan(s) for projects under development are to be attached to the TIO funding application as supporting information.

Consultation and engagement

Programme consultation is managed by the RTC when it consults on the RLTP. However, the need to take into account the views of affected communities under the LTMA, to give early and full consideration of alternative options, implies a need to consult or engage at the activity level in the course of activity development. This may also be required under other legislation, eg Resource Management Act 1991(external link).

Waka Kotahi decision conditions

Waka Kotahi may apply conditions to any support, endorsement or approval that it may provide for a strategy, package, programme or activity. 


  • Conditions

    Conditions to any support, endorsement or approval will generally fall into one of two categories .

    • Condition precedent means that the condition must be fulfilled before the support, endorsement or approval is put into effect. For a funding approval this will mean that no funding will be released until the condition is met.

    • Condition subsequent means that the condition needs to be fulfilled by a specified time or event, but the decision can be put into effect. For a funding approval this will mean that funding can be released before the condition is met. Often, conditions subsequent will need to be fulfilled before the next funding application for an activity.

    Conditions are recorded and managed through TIO.

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