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


This section describes the activity classes and provides links to road maintenance programme requirements, work category definitions and guidance, and assessment of road maintenance programmes. 

There are two activity classes:

  • Local road maintenance – applies to approved organisations only
  • State highway maintenance – applies to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (state highways) only.

The definitions for the activity classes are:

  • Operate – Investment in the operation of existing state highway and local roads to deliver an appropriate level of services.
  • Maintain – Investment in the maintenance of existing state highway and local roads to deliver an appropriate level of service, excluding asset upgrades.
  • Renew – Investment in renewal of existing state highways and local roads to deliver an appropriate level of service.
  • Emergency – Urgent response to transport network disruptions to restore an appropriate level of service.


Government expectations

The government has set out its expectations of the land transport system in the Government Policy Statement on land transport (external link)(GPS).

These include results from investments in road  maintenance from the National Land Transport Fund.

  • Short- to medium-term results

    For local road and state highway maintenance, the government expects:

    • improved performance of the existing network, with better informed contracting and improved whole-of-life investment decision making
    • provides the right levels of service for all modes
    • ensures safe system treatments remain fit-for-purpose.

    The GPS also recognises the important role maintenance plays in ensuring the network fulfils the GPS expectations for access with a short to medium term result of:

    • nationally important connections are maintained to the right levels of service to support growth, population changes, freight and tourism.

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  • Long-term results

    For local road and state highway maintenance, the government expects:

    • Significant reduction in deaths and serious injuries
    • Metropolitan and high growth urban areas are better connected and accessible – considering transport's role in the urban development and as a place-maker
    • Better access to markets, business areas and supporting tourism
    • Increased mode shift from private vehicle trips to public transport, walking and cycling in our towns and cities
    • More transport choice (including for people with less or limited access to transport) – considering all modes when providing the best access solution
    • Improved network resilience for the most critical connections
    • Reduce transport's negative effects on the global climate
    • Reduce transport's negative effects on the local environment and public health
    • Better informed investment decision-making
    • Improved returns (including for maintenance and better use of innovation and technology).
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Development of road maintenance programmes

Road maintenance programmes are continuous programmes of relatively low cost, low risk activities required to maintain appropriate levels of service on the roading and cycling network. As continuous programmes they have no start or end date. However, the detail required to establish the appropriate investment levels is developed on a three year cycle that aligns with the NLTP cycle. Approval of funding assistance from the National Land Transport Fund normally covers the three year period of each NLTP and is made when the NLTP is adopted by Waka Kotahi Board.

Emergency works are an exception in that expenditure is linked to the immediate response and reinstatement of levels of service as a result of the impact of natural events, eg severe storm events. Funding is approved individually on a project basis, with start and end dates.

Waka Kotahi expects approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (state highways) to follow the Waka Kotahi Planning and investment principles  in developing and delivering their road maintenance programmes.

Road maintenance programmes are developed through the maintenance, operations and renewals module in Transport Investment Online (external link)(TIO).


Requirements of road maintenance programmes

Details of road operations, maintenance, renewal and improvements activities must be held by the organisation responsible for the programme.

Consideration should be given to:

  • the relationship between recommendations in the approved organisation’s and state highways activity management plans
  • changes from national and regional levels of service targets relating to road user satisfaction, safety and asset preservation
  • quality assurance
  • innovation.

Differences in levels of service will have an impact of funding assistance.

Further guidance on Waka Kotahi requirements of a road maintenance programme is provided.


Assessment of road maintenance programmes

Road maintenance programmes are assessed under Waka Kotahi's Investment Assessment Framework.  The IAF includes:

  • A business case must first be assessed by Waka Kotahi to provide assurance that a robust business case has been developed under the Business Case Approach principles
  • All approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (state highways) are required to provide evidence of the customer levels of service that they propose to deliver and how they relate to the ONRC measures
  • For the 2018-21 NLTP, the results alignment rating will be used by Waka Kotahi to assess the significance of a problem, issue or opportunity relative to desired results set out in the Government Policy Statement
  • The cost-benefit appraisal for road maintenance programmes is based on their relative cost-effectiveness established through peer group and sector benchmarking comparisons.

See Assessment of road maintenance programmes for more detailed information. 


Conditions of funding

Typically, Waka Kotahiy will approve funding for a road maintenance programme for all three years in an NLTP, as part of the NLTP adoption. However, Waka Kotahi may decide to impose terms and conditions on funding for all or part of the approved programme, due to:

  • insufficient information submitted to provide Waka Kotahi with the confidence to approve funding in full
  • a lack of confidence in the forecasts provided in support of the application for funding
  • network performance indicators providing evidence of low returns on investment with insufficient or unreliable evidence that returns will improve.

The terms and conditions may apply across all three years of an NLTP or to particular years, eg Waka Kotahi may approve funding the first year of a road maintenance programme in the newly adopted NLTP but set conditions that have to be met before funding to be released in the subsequent year.