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


Regional land transport plans (RLTPs) are six-year plans that document the regions’ land transport objectives, policies and measures as well as providing a statement of transport priorities for the region. The plans incorporate programmes of regional land transport activities, including those activities proposed for inclusion in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). They are reviewed after three years.

This is general information about developing programmes for the NLTP. You can find specific information about development of the forthcoming NLTP at Waka Kotahi Transport Agency’s planning and investment news page.  This includes information on timelines and key dates.

Latest NLTP news

Legislative requirements

Legislative requirements for RLTPs are set out in sections 12 to 18 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (LTMA).

Land Transport Management Act, sections 12 to 18(external link)

Requirements for RLTP submission

Under the LTMA, we (Waka Kotahi as investor) set the form in which RLTPs are to be submitted for consideration for the NLTP. This, in turn, prescribes the form in which approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities)) need to submit their proposals for inclusion in an RLTP. We set these requirements and provide the tool to submit transport programmes through Transport Investment Online.

Transport Investment Online (external link)

Criteria for NLTP inclusion and funding approval

The criteria that apply to activities proposed for inclusion in an RLTP and the NLTP are less stringent than those that apply to activities for which funding approval is sought. This means that activities may be proposed for inclusion in an RLTP or the NLTP at an early stage of their development, when limited information is available. Activities proposed for funding approval need to be developed sufficiently to enable their approval under section 20 of the LTMA.

Land Transport Management Act 2003, section 20(external link)

Consultation and engagement

Section 18 of the LTMA requires that when a regional transport committee prepares a RLTP that it is consulted on in accordance with the LGA which can include combing the consultation process with your long-term plan or annual plan document. Any variation to your RLTP should be consulted on if it is significant.

Regional transport committees should be engaging with Waka Kotahi to ensure they are appropriately considering the GPS and other national priorities. Regional transport committees should also engage with road controlling authorities to ensure regional priorities and objectives are aligned to their activity management plans.

Land Transport Management Act 2003, section 18(external link)

Relationship of New Zealand Police activities to the RLTP

Section 16 6(b) of the LTMA requires RLTPs to include an assessment of the relationship of police activities to the RLTP.

Land Transport Management Act 2003, section 16 6(b)(external link)

Achieving safe system outcomes

Achieving road safety outcomes is a priority and focus for the police, who make a significant contribution to the land transport system across the four elements of the safe system – speeds, road use, vehicles, and roads and roadsides. For the safe system to be successful, partners, including approved organisations, Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) and the police, should work together to understand all the risk factors.

Involving New Zealand Police in planning and investment

It is essential to involve the police in land transport planning and investment decision making. Inviting police to take part in the early phases of the Business Case Approach is a practical way to influence and improve investment decisions and the delivery of responses integrated at regional and local government levels.

Some of the ways approved organisations and RTCs can invite police involvement are through:

  • the Business Case Approach to activity and programme development
  • regional and technical advisory groups
  • the One Network journey approach
  • road safety action planning.

Identifying safety risks in the regions

In assessing the relationship of police activities to the RLTP, regional transport committees (RTCs) should work with police to identify the two most significant issues of risk in the regions.

It is expected these key priorities will be:

  • evidence based
  • aligned with any business case development
  • agreed across the region.

You can visit the Waka Kotahi Road Safety Partnership Programme page to find out more.

Road Safety Partnership Programme

Relationship of the Rail Network Investment Programme to the RLTP

Starting from the 2021–24 NLTP, KiwiRail’s below-track heavy rail network can receive funding directly from the National Land Transport Fund. The new planning and funding system for rail requires KiwiRail to create a Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP). Waka Kotahi is required to assess the RNIP and provide advice to the Minister of Transport. The Minister approves both the programme and funding for individual rail activities.

The new planning and funding system for the rail network is set out in the Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Act 2020.

Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Act 2020(external link)

Heavy rail’s role in transport outcomes

The draft New Zealand Rail Plan informs the development of the RNIP by outlining the medium-term investment priorities for the rail network in New Zealand . At the strategic level, the Rail Plan is focused on enabling a resilient and reliable rail network that creates a platform for future growth.

The New Zealand Rail Plan(external link)

The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS 2021) takes these medium-term investment priorities and guides rail investment over the next three years through the following activity classes:

  • rail network – investment to support a reliable and resilient national rail network
  • public transport infrastructure – investment to support metro rail infrastructure
  • public transport services – investment to support existing metro rail services

Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021(external link)

Rail network

Public transport services and infrastructure

Heavy rail in RLTPs

The RNIP is approved by the Minister of Transport, and KiwiRail will be funded directly from the NLTF, so RNIP activities will not have to go through RLTPs for funding. However, in places where KiwiRail is represented on the RTC (currently Auckland and Wellington), the LTMA requires the RLTP to include a list of the proposed significant rail activities in the region. KiwiRail is working directly with the Auckland and Wellington RTCs to co-ordinate this.

Because approval of activities proposed for inclusion in the RNIP rests with the Minister, they will not be prioritised against other activities in the NLTP but need to be recognised as integrated parts of the region’s transport system.

In regions where KiwiRail does not sit on the RTC, there is no requirement for rail activities to be reflected in the RLTP. However, it is important to reflect on the existing role that rail plays with other modes in the transport system when telling a region’s transport story.


The steps outlined below provide detailed information on how to develop and review RLTPs.

Process for regional land transport plans

Additional guidance material

For the development of each NLTP, we prepare additional material to the guidance given in this Knowledge Base   to clarify our expectations of programme and RLTP development and review, and to provide specific detail relevant to the development of the next NLTP.

You can find the additional guidance for the 2021–24 NLTP on the National Land Transport Programme page. This resource will be updated as new guidance is drafted during the development of the NLTP.

National Land Transport Programme

We have developed further guidance for RLTPs in conjunction with the Local Government NZ Transport Special Interest Group. You can find this in our guide to planning and investment. 

Planning and investment