This page relates to the 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme.


All approved organisations and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (for its own activities) maintain an activity management plan (AMP), with the process described below providing guidance for the continuous update and improvement of these plans as living documents. We (Waka Kotahi as investor) expect the principles of the Business Case Approach to have informed the development of an AMP.

Developing activity management plans using Business Case Approach principles

In order to meet their statutory obligations, road controlling authorities (RCAs) (as approved organisations) and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) develop a significant number of strategic, tactical and operational documents related to transport activities. Waka Kotahi acknowledges that there are a number of internationally recognised methodologies and standards to guide practitioners in the development and/or review of AMPs. Where the AMP development / review follows one or more of these methodologies / standards we expect a well-developed AMP will fulfill the business case requirements when supporting funding requests, and we do not require the development of a separate business case to support funding requests for continuous programmes (such as maintenance, operations and renewals programmes and regular road safety promotion activities) or for low-cost, low-risk programmes of network improvements, provided the information requirements are fulfilled in the AMP.

RCAs should ensure that they have regard to the Business Case Approach when developing / reviewing their AMP to ensure it fulfils the role of a business case. This requires the AMP and other supporting information to set out clearly the case for investment. You can find, on the Waka Kotahi site, supporting material in the form of exemplars to assist in developing AMPs.

AMP example tool for exemplar s2, ex5 [PDF, 1.3 MB]

AMP example tool for exemplar s6, ex4 [PDF, 1 MB]

AMP example tool for exemplar s7, ex4 [PDF, 1.1 MB]

AMP example tool for exemplar s7, ex6 [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Robust evidence must underpin an AMP informed by business case principles to support funding requests, ie we require evidential, quality and compelling data supported by sound analytics. The AMP must be built on the development of business case principles AMPs. 

Planning improvement cycle process

A typical continuous activities planning improvement cycle for AMPs is shown in the diagram below; the text in brackets (eg strategic assessment) is intended to show where in this review cycle the AMP is addressing the equivalent stage in the business case life cycle.

The planning improvement cycle process applies key elements of the Business Case Approach including confirming there is robust evidence and supporting analytics to support these business case elements.

Activity management continuous improvement cycle overview [PDF, 204 KB]

Strategic case

The strategic case represents the context and case for change if variation is needed – it is the approved organisation’s or the Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) portrayal of the current state, including the assumptions that underpin the current state and the outcomes targeted. The strategic case, comprising a strategic assessment and strategic context, will demonstrate why investment is needed.

The strategic context takes into account suppositions about the future, the organisation’s objectives and the implications of the strategic documents (such as the Government Policy Statement on land transport or plans or strategies) on problems and benefits, or to position the outcomes sought against wider national, regional and district outcomes.

Government Policy Statement on land transport

The strategic assessment ensures the problems, opportunities and consequences are well understood, clearly identified and articulated, including identification of the benefits and outcomes which can be achieved by addressing the problems and opportunities. In a stable network, this may be simply maintaining the network to the agreed levels of service, as depicted by existing performance measures.

The strategic case should facilitate the optimisation of the total programme in the AMP and demonstrate that the balance between capital improvements and operational activities in the proposed programme is appropriate.

For an AMP we would expect to see the following information to meet the requirements of the strategic case.

  • network context including linkages at boundaries and to state highway/local network, and land use
  • current levels of service (which may include mode/time differentiation from a network operating framework
  • government / Waka Kotahi direction, including relevant legislative context
  • council environment and periphery strategy set affecting activity and asset management
  • network management:
    • objectives for maintaining and operating network (intervention hierarchy)
    • road hierarchy / road classification (using the One Network Framework)
    • current level of service targets
      One Network Framework
  • existing evidence base (evidence gaps can be identified in the improvement plan)
    • network condition, use and inventory (and other relevant data as required)
    • level of service / customer surveys
    • demand and growth measures, trends and projections
    • age of data, quality, gaps
    • benefit/performance measurement, key performance indicators
  • assumptions underlying the document and analysis (for example, travel projections, escalation)
  • efficiency of existing delivery – this may include current spend, whole-of-life costs, unit costs, procurement, investment strategy or optimisation
  • procurement environment – fixed components, constraints and/or opportunities
  • risks
  • AMP improvement plan for known deficiencies in AMP (if any)
  • strategic priorities based on the culmination of above.

Programme business case

The programme business case represents the conversation of planning and considering possible interventions – it is an approved organisation’s or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) portrayal of the planned or future state.

The primary purpose of the programme business case is to provide robust evidence to support an investment in continuous programmes (such as road maintenance, operations and renewals programmes and regular road safety promotion activities) or for low-cost, low-risk programmes of network improvements.

The AMP will identify possible alternatives and options, develop a range of possible programmes setting out their benefits, consequences and potential costs, and then identify a preferred programme of activities to progress. Any deficiencies in the AMP, such as evidence base or knowledge gaps, can be corrected either through the articulation of this stage, or as an application to the NLTP to improve individual components.

We expect there to be a clear linkage between the recommendations in the approved organisation’s and the Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) AMPs, the requested funding and the defined quantities of works for each work category in the road operations, maintenance and renewal programme. Where there are differences in the programme funding request submitted to that contained in the AMP there must be evidence to explain those differences and their impact on the AMP. The preferred programme should contribute to the achievement of the government’s priorities for land transport.

For an AMP we would expect to see the following information to meet the expectations of the programme business case.

  • modal priority alternatives and options (where applicable)
  • service offering alternatives and options, for example safety, high productivity motor vehicles, efficiency, tourism, cycling
  • level of service alternatives and options
  • intervention hierarchy
  • optimisation of existing network
  • demand management planning
  • programme development methodology / approach used
  • affordability considerations (financial implications of the programme alternatives and options)
  • timing (renewals / improvements)
  • trade offs
  • benefit realisation (how effective the alternatives and options are at realising outcomes and benefits)
  • identification of uncertainties and high-level mitigations of these uncertainties
  • ‘the offering’ of the preferred programme at a strategic level – detail will be developed in the 3-year maintenance, renewals and improvements programmes or low-cost low-risk programmes.