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


This page explains how approved organisations and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (for its own activities) can update their transport programmes within the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). It sets out the funding approval process and procedural requirements, and provides information on negotiation and conditions of funding approval.

2021–24 National Land Transport Programme

Definition of terms

Variation: an update to transport programmes to add or withdraw activities and/or phases from the current NLTP. Also includes updating the costs or cost profile of phases within the current NLTP.

NLTP inclusion: a legal requirement for payments from the National Land Transport Fund.

Land Transport Management Act 2003 s20(1)(external link)

NLTP approval: approval given by us under section 20 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

NLTP committed: activities and/or phases approved in a prior NLTP that continue into the current NLTP.

Updating transport programmes throughout an NLTP

To be considered for funding all activities must be included in the current NLTP. After NLTP adoption approved organisations can add or remove activities with our (Waka Kotahi as investor) approval at a later stage, as part of a variation request consistent with requirements identified in section 19E of the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

Land Transport Management Act 2003 section 19E(external link)

This includes requests for:

  • new funding for phases that have been included in the current NLTP
  • the addition of new activities and/or phases to the current NLTP (this can be combined with the request for new funding)
  • removal of unfunded phases that have been included in the current NLTP
  • movement of funds between years or phases within an activity
  • declaration of surplus funds when they are no longer required.

Adding new activities

Before adding new activities to the NLTP, approved organisations and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (for its own activities) should request the appropriate Waka Kotahi representative to confirm:

  • who is the delegated Waka Kotahi authority holder with responsibility for approving additions/variations to the NLTP. Note: this is the office holder who approves the funding unless the Waka Kotahi Chief Executive considers there may be a higher than minor impact on the NLTP, in which case it must be approved by the Waka Kotahi Board.
    Funding approvals and funding variations process diagram [PDF, 514 KB]

If the activity or phase is not already in Transport Investment Online (TIO) it must be added during the development of the application and any supporting documentation must be added or updated within TIO.

Removing activities and or phases

Where an activity is no longer required for the current NLTP, the activity owner must inform us so we can update TIO accordingly.

Funding approval

In order for funding to be approved, all TIO fields are required to be completed to demonstrate legislative, consultation and assessment requirements have been met to satisfy decision makers that enabling the activity will meet our statutory requirements. It is vital that this information is of a high standard and is kept up to date.

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) can change the programme by varying the timing of phases, and scope of projects as part of the funding application.

The funding approvals and funding variations process diagram provides details of the funding approvals and variations process.

Funding approvals and funding variations process diagram [PDF, 514 KB]

Note that:

  • The process starts by submitting the request in TIO.
  • The review and assessment of the application will apply the Waka Kotahi investment principles, which underpin all of our funding assistance decisions.
    Investment principles
  • Before funding can be supported by the Delegations Committee (step 7 of the diagram), funding availability must be confirmed (step 5).
  • The review and assessment of the application will make a recommendation, which will be recorded in TIO and the applicant advised, such as:
  • endorsement of a business case
  • approval of new or increased funding
  • referral of the application, either because it is not ready or funding is dependent on delivery of other activities in the NLTP
    • application is declined.
  • For cost-neutral (cashflows) or negative (surplusing funds), the TIO request with the ‘Reason for change’ is sufficient for processing the application. The request will be actioned by the Waka Kotahi Treasury and Cashflow team (step 10) within two weeks.


Negotiation with applicants to resolve questions and address issues is common. This can range from low-key resolution of funding application and evidence requirements to high-level negotiation of funding levels and sources.

Generally, negotiation to resolve issues is preferable to applying conditions to funding approvals, although some negotiations may require funding approval conditions as the means of recording special funding arrangements.

The Waka Kotahi Local Government Partnership (LGP) and the Business Case and Project Management Standards (BC&PMS) team involved in the negotiation need to be aware of the limits of their delegated authority and ensure that the appropriate delegation office holder has signed off on the agreement.

Conditions of funding approval

Conditions of funding approval may be applied to any funding approval, although their use should be restricted to extraordinary requirements or variations around approvals. They should not be used to require certain actions that would normally apply as part of an approval, delivery or monitoring process.

Conditions that require certain actions to be undertaken need to be very specific as to the action, the accountability for its delivery and its timing, and will be submitted into TIO to ensure longer-term accountability.

We may apply conditions to any support, endorsement or approval and these will 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.

Examples where conditions of funding approval may be applied include:

  • decisions to limit or cap funding assistance
  • a requirement to undertake actions before the funding is able to be released (condition precedent) such as entering into a multi-party funding agreement
  • a requirement to undertake actions after the funding is released (condition subsequent) such as seeking approval of the design before proceeding with implementation.

Conditions are recorded and managed through TIO.

Funding obligations

Once funding has been approved the applicant must ensure that the use of those funds comply with the Waka Kotahi National Land Transport Fund claims and obligations policy. 

National Land Transport Fund investment claims and obligations policy

Cashflow and surplus funds

Once funding has been approved the applicant can request updates to the cost profile, including surplusing funds, by submitting a request in TIO and provide a reason for the change within the request.

Further information

For information about the requirements for transport investments, see

Quick links - transport investment requirements

For further details on adding activities to the NLTP:

  • The key principles, factors and prioritisation for assessing whether activities should be included in the NLTP are detailed in our section on the Investment Prioritisation Method.
    2021-24 Investment Prioritisation Method
  • The legislative and other requirements for RLTPs to be included in the 2021–24 NLTP are explained in our information on RLTPs.
    Regional land transport plans

For further information related to requesting funds see the following: