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


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's policy on National Land Transport Funds claims and obligations.

Date of issue: May 2021│Last updated June 2023│Investment policies will be reviewed every three years or when a new Government Policy Statement on land transport is released.


To ensure that approved organisations and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (for its own activities) understand the claiming process and fulfil their obligations in relation to investment funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).

Policy statement

When approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) receive funding from us (Waka Kotahi as investor), they are obliged to follow the processes outlined in this policy.

We may reduce, refuse or withhold payment for any approved activity if we consider that (in relation to an approved activity) an approved organisation, Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) or person:

  • is in breach of a procurement procedure
  • has been or is or will be likely to be in breach of any other provision of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 relating to payments from a land transport disbursement account
    Land Transport Management Act 2003
  • has already constructed or undertaken the activity for which it has applied for payment
  • is proposing to construct or undertake the activity to standards that are excessively high or unsatisfactory.

Information requirements

Accurate information

All information provided to us must be accurate. If we make any payment for an approved activity that is based on information that is subsequently found to be erroneous or inaccurate, the payment is recoverable as a debt due to us.

Confirmation that the investment is eligible for funding

Funding from the NLTF must be:

  • used only to purchase eligible activities, as defined in an activity class in the current Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS), and
  • used only for the purpose for which it was approved.

Where NLTF funds have been approved for an activity or combination of activities, all approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) will deliver to their annual cash-flow plan, which will have been agreed as part of the funding approval. If approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) require a variation to that plan, they must request it as soon as they become aware of the need for a change.

Use of national systems

When we fund the development of systems, standards, guidelines and processes to deliver national benefits, and these are applicable to investment proposals, all approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) requesting/receiving funding from the NLTF must use these systems, standards, guidelines and processes unless specifically agreed otherwise with us.

Readiness for approval

Activities are only approved for funding when they are ready to start, except in exceptional circumstances. We consider the type of activity (or combination of activities) when assessing readiness for funding approval:

  • The construction/implementation phase of an improvement project is considered ready when all previous phases have been completed, all planning approvals are in place and there is a commitment from the activity owner to start the phase within three months of funding approval.
  • A programme of routine, low-risk activities is considered ready when we consider that it is backed by robust activity management planning and that the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) negotiations between the programme owner and us are concluded.
  • When requesting funding for business case phases including: programme, indicative, single-stage and detailed business cases through a point of entry or new phase funding request, there is an expectation that work will commence within three months from the date of approval.

Timing of funding claims

Claiming for work completed

Payment will only be made when the completed portions of approved activities have been delivered as specified in the funding approval. Any exceptions must be individually agreed between us and the approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities).

All payment claims must be made promptly and regularly so that:

  • the approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) can make more efficient use of their funds through sensible cashflow management practice.
  • we have more certainty around the year-end position and enable full utilisation of the funding, with a reduced need for a large risk cash-flow buffer.

We acknowledge that the seasonal pattern of some work will impact on the timing of some claims.

Claims on accrual basis

Claims should be made on an accrual basis as work is completed. Claims can also be based on certified work done, progress reports, or invoices received.

Claims on an accrual basis means that approved organisations or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) can claim on the basis of the costs they expect to pay for the period to which the claim relates ahead of having received invoices and ahead of payment to the relevant suppliers. The claim should be supported by evidence of the cost and the claim should not be significantly ahead of payment to suppliers. While it is not necessary to hold a supporting invoice at the time of the claim, all amounts claimed must be supported by appropriate evidence, such as certificates of the value of work done or certified progress reports. Supporting evidence is to be held within the approved organisation’s and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) records. The certification of the claim will confirm that the works were undertaken to a standard fit for their intended purpose.

The accrual claims process during the year should be routinely validated against actuals by the approved organisation and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities). Both the approved organisation, Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) and our approving officer should regularly validate the claim and progress against the forecast expenditure and cashflow in the Transport Investment Online (TIO) programme monitor to ensure they both reflect a fair interpretation of actual spend incurred or expected to be incurred. The expenditure must be reconciled to actuals in the final claim for each financial year.

 End-of-year claiming

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) must not make substantially higher, 'catch-up' claims at the end of the financial year. We reserve the right to defer payment of end-of-year claims (that is, those made after 5 June until financial close on the 10th working day of July) where these exceed 15% of the approved organisation's and Waka Kotahi (for its own business activities) total claim for the year.

End-of-NLTP processing

Overclaiming and repaying funding

Where funds have to be repaid to the NLTP, either due to overclaiming or property settlements, these should always be set up in TIO and added to the next claim. The approved organisation’s investment advisor can provide guidance on how to do this for the particular scenario.

Programme management

At the start of each financial year all organisations should make the following updates to their programme:

  • update their 10-year forecast within the activity management plan (AMP) template for the current NLTP
  • update their forecast works and/or forecast performance within the maintenance, operations and renewals and public transport templates for the current NLTP
  • update their attached low-cost, low-risk programme to reflect the work carried out in the past year and plans for the remaining years of the NLTP
    Work category 341: Low-cost, low-risk improvements
  • update the cost profile for any phases that have been included in the NLTP but have yet to request funding.


All approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) must forecast the timing and size of their claims or funding requirements, so that:

  • the approved organisation and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) can manage forward funding requirements from rate payers, the NLTF and other sources
  • we can effectively manage debt and cashflow.

In the first three quarters of the financial year (September, December and March) approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) are required to provide forecasts through the TIO programme monitor of when they expect to make claims and the size of those claims. We are required to provide monthly forecasts on expected activity class expenditure and property revenue. At the start of each financial year all approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) must update their programmes to reflect their latest transport plans.

Monitoring and reporting

Continuous improvement at policy, process and operational levels is a fundamental concept in achieving value for money. Achieving this requires feedback on the performance of the investments made in land transport activities, through monitoring and reporting of their outcomes.

Approved organisations, Waka Kotahi (for its own activities), KiwiRail and NZ Police are accountable for monitoring the outcomes of their transport investments. A monitoring programme must be agreed with us as part of the implementation funding application.

Monitoring and reporting of investments must:

  • track key measures, taken from the Waka Kotahi Land Transport Benefits Framework, that are linked to desired outcomes, over an appropriate period of time
    Benefits management guidance
  • demonstrate the success of the investment in achieving the outcomes.

Monitoring and reporting will be undertaken at a level commensurate with the type of activity (plan, programme, package or project) and the scale and risk of investment in individual activities.

Evaluating road safety interventions

All approved organisations, Waka Kotahi (for its own activities), NZ Police and we (as investor) will:

  • evaluate the expected benefits to road safety of their planned interventions, investments and actions, and
  • monitor actual benefits achieved.

Funding adjustments

Requests for adjustments

All approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) must monitor progress and forecasting of their claims. They will need to apply for approval for an adjustment of scope and/or costs for the phase of their activity or programme.

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) must inform our representative as soon as they are aware of the need for any cost scope or cash flow adjustment. This includes the release of any surplus funds that are not required to deliver the planned activity or activities. (See ‘Surpluses’ below.)


Any funding that remains after the purchase of the activity or activities to approved scope must be declared surplus. Surplus funds are returned to the NLTF and are not available for the approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) to use on other activities, except by agreement with us.

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) may be reluctant to forecast or declare surplus funds as they may need them later, should the cost of the approved activity be higher than their latest forecast. We commit that, where an approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) declares surplus funds and later finds that it requires some or all of those funds to deliver its approved activity or activities, the approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) will have first call on available NLTF funds to enable it to complete delivery.

Retrospective funding

We do not provide funding assistance retrospectively, unless by prior agreement. Any approved organisation or Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) that commits to or commences a new activity or phase of an activity prior to our funding approval or specific agreement, or commits expenditure on an activity in excess of the funding approved, will be liable to fund that portion of an activity’s cost without assistance from the NLTF. Exceptions to this are:

  • activities within a delegated allocation, where our approval permits adjustment of funding to activities within the total allocation and where over-expenditure on some activities can be offset by under-expenditure on other activities, or
  • fees for the investigation and design phases of small improvement projects, which may be claimed if and when the construction/implementation phase of the project is approved, or
  • property acquisitions that have been approved but the funding is provided at the start of construction rather than at the time of acquisition, or
  • exercise of the funding approver’s discretion guided by Waka Kotahi criteria.

Investment caps

We may choose to cap the level of funding approved for a programme, package or activity. The effect of a cap is that the NLTF contribution to the programme or activity may not exceed the cap, except by approval of the Waka Kotahi Board. 

The rationale for imposing a cap is generally to limit the risk of cost exposure to the NLTF. We may decide to take such action in a cash-constrained environment for high-risk activities or where there is the potential for costs to exceed an amount that we are prepared to fund. We may decide to set a cap in accordance with a multi-party funding agreement or cost-share agreement. 

Other obligations


We must be offered compensation for property and infrastructure funded from the NLTF if the purpose or ownership changes.

The compensation that we receive must be in the same proportion of the current value of the property and infrastructure as its contribution was to the total funding of the property and infrastructure when procured.

We may waive our right to compensation if the ownership changes but the purpose and use of the property and infrastructure remain intact. We expect that the provision of service through use of the facility would continue to be delivered at a similar cost to that of before the change in ownership.

Delegated authority

Those making decisions under delegation should ensure that they meet our expectations for exercising delegations, detailed in the Funding delegations policy.

Funding delegations policy

Public ownership

Property and infrastructure for which funding has been provided from the NLTF will be in public ownership and available to land transport network users who have paid for its access and use through their contributions to NLTF revenue.

We will consider funding of infrastructure not in public ownership for transport purposes but will do so only on condition that the use of the facility for transport purposes will endure and that our right to compensation, should the purpose or ownership of the facility change, is protected.

Intellectual property

We will share ownership of intellectual property rights created by co-investment in approved organisation activities. We may, at our discretion, make these rights available to other parties that we fund, unless specifically agreed otherwise.

When funding is provided to create intellectual property, we will consider the ownership and use of rights of the intellectual property on a case-by-case basis. We will take into consideration the Public Service Commission’s Guidelines for treatment of intellectual property rights in ICT contracts.

Guidelines for treatment of intellectual property rights in ICT contracts(external link)

Further information

Procurement manual

Benefits management guidance

Monetised benefits and costs manual

Land Transport Benefits Framework measures manual