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


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is responsible for developing a three-year National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

The Waka Kotahi Investment Prioritisation Method (IPM) for the 2021–24 NLTP is used to give effect to the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 in the 2021–24 NLTP.

The IPM applies to activities proposed for the 2021–24 NLTP. It replaces the Investment Assessment Framework used for the 2018–21 NLTP.

Prioritisation is considered at two stages

We (Waka Kotahi as investor) undertake investment prioritisation when approved organisations, KiwiRail, NZ Police and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) put forward a proposed activity, or combination of activities, for inclusion in an NLTP, whether this is during the development of the NLTP (or as a variation to the NLTP).

We also confirm the priority order when a business case is presented so that a funding decision can be made. We apply the IPM factors based on the updated information in order to check the activity is above the investment threshold. The investment threshold is the priority order at which we allocate full funding to an activity class.

Core requirements for the NLTP

Section 19B of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (LTMA) sets out the following ‘core requirements’ for the NLTP, which are summarised below:

Section 19B of the Land Transport Management Act 2003(external link)

  • giving effect to the GPS
  • contributing to the purpose of the LTMA
  • taking into account regional land transport plans (RLTP), the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NEECS), relevant national policy statements (NPS), relevant regional policy statements (RPS) or plans in force under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

The implications of these key considerations for the IPM are outlined below.

Giving effect to the GPS

A key consideration for the Investment Prioritisation Method is to ensure the NLTP gives effect to government priorities and direction as outlined in the GPS.

Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021 direction

Contributing to the purpose of the LTMA

The purpose of the LTMA is ʽto contribute to an effective, efficient and safe land transport system in the public interest.’ To approve funding of an activity or a combination of activities, the LTMA stipulates that Waka Kotahi must be satisfied specified criteria are met, including that the proposal:

  • is included in the NLTP or otherwise qualifies under section 20(4), that is, if the activity is in the urgent interests of public safety or is necessary to effect immediate or temporary repair of damage caused by a sudden and unexpected event
  • is consistent with the GPS (as outlined above)
  • is efficient and effective
  • has been assessed (to the extent practicable) against other land transport options and alternatives
  • has complied with relevant consultation requirements under the LTMA 2003.

The GPS 2021 notes Waka Kotahi (for its own activities), KiwiRail, the NZ Police and approved organisations will use the framework in the LTMA 2003 to deliver investment across New Zealand that is prioritised and coordinated.

Taking into account RLTPs, NEECS and relevant RMA policy documents

Activities in RLTPs are accounted for in the Waka Kotahi Investment Prioritisation Method as follows:

  • Except for nationally delivered programmes of activities developed by Waka Kotahi (examples include the Research Programme, Safe Network Programme, National Ticketing Programme and Rail Regulator Funding), every activity, including state highway activities, in the 2021–24 NLTP must be part of an approved RLTP.
  • The LTMA 2003 requires an RLTP to identify the order of priority of significant activities for the first six years of the plan. The Investment Prioritisation Method applies to activities put forward for the three years of the 2021–24 NLTP.
  • The RLTP priority order will be considered in distinguishing between activities with the same priority order in the 2021–24 NLTP when such activities are at the investment threshold for the activity class.

We consider the NEECS and RMA policy documents to be part of a given business case and provide specific guidance for this in the Business Case Approach.

Inclusion of activities from previous NLTPs in the 2021–24 NLTP

We will treat any activity phase that is already ʽfunding approved’ in the 2018–21 NLTP as ʽcommitted’, ie we will not require these to be reviewed under the Investment Prioritisation Method for the 2021–24 NLTP, and will automatically include the phase that has funding approval in the 2021–24 NLTP.

However, where an activity phase has approved funding (denoted as ʽcommitted’ in Transport Investment Online) in the 2015–18 NLTP or an earlier NLTP, we may request the project owner to reassess the activity phase using the Investment Prioritisation Method for the 2021–24 NLTP. We reserve the right to overturn funding approval/commitment should the activity be below the investment threshold for the 2021–24 NLTP and not been progressed in its delivery.

Activity phases included in previous NLTPs (eg denoted as ʽincluded in NLTP 2018–21’ in Transport Investment Online) but which do not have funding approval, must be reviewed based on the Investment Prioritisation Method for the 2021–24 NLTP in order for us to consider including them in the 2021–24 NLTP.

Activity phases put forward for the first time for inclusion in the 2021–24 NLTP must provide the information required as outlined in this knowledge base.