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


This page sets out Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's policy on investing in place.

Date of issue: April 2022 | Investment policies will be reviewed every three years or when a new Government Policy Statement on land transport is released. The Waka Kotahi Board has the right to amend or confirm this policy at any stage.


The purpose of this policy is to clarify how we (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency as investor) consider costs associated with the integration of place into transport solutions for investment from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).

Definition of terms

One Network Framework (ONF) describes the movement and place functions as follows.

Movement function: The strategic importance of the network for moving people and goods, across all modes, and the scale of movement it intends to accommodate.

Place function: The extent to which a road or street and its adjacent land use is a destination in its’ own right. It is determined by place-based plans, and strategies. 

Street: A street is a road within an urban locality, it is the basic unit of urban space through which people experience movement in an urban area. Streets stretch from one property line to another, including the building edges, land uses and setbacks that define each side and the on -street activity. They offer space for movement, access and facilitate a variety of uses and activities.

Corridor: A corridor can be rural or urban, and is primarily movement focused:

  • The area of land utilised to provide a transport link between two points. Usually constrained within the land area of a legal road or railway reserve.
  • The collection of routes utilised to provide a transport link between two key points by all available modes, which may sometimes be expanded to include off-line modes such as railways and dedicated cycleways that provide the links.
  • Corridors can have amenity value and be part of an attractive journey experience and environment.

 One Network Framework


The Transport Outcomes Framework, developed by the Ministry of Transport, identifies an overarching aim to develop a transport system that improves wellbeing and liveability. Improving the integration of transport infrastructure into the surrounding environment is one means by which place can be improved.

Transport Outcomes Framework(external link)

We (Waka Kotahi as investor) invest in the integration of infrastructure into the surrounding environment either to fulfil resource consent conditions or to address community requirements. This includes investing in project components that are not just functional but address an aesthetic need. For instance, acoustic barriers that are not simply concrete, but have colour and/or design features built into them. 

The ONF replaces the One Network Road Classification, which was based on accepted levels of service for infrastructure. The ONF was endorsed by the Waka Kotahi Board on February 2021 for use in relation to the 2024–27 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). The ONF acknowledges the transport network has both ‘place’ and ‘movement’ functions as roads and streets are destinations for people, as well as transport corridors.

One Network Framework

Policy statement

Investment in place in a transport corridor must be appropriate in the context of place and movement functions and consistent with Waka Kotahi investment principles, the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS), the ONF, the draft Aotearoa urban street planning & design guide and the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (in relation to an urban setting).

Investment principles

Government Policy Statement on land transport(external link)

One Network Framework

Aotearoa urban street planning and design guide

Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development(external link)

Consideration of reasonable or appropriate place costs will include comparison with place costs and treatment of place in other similar projects. We expect the applicant to obtain alternative funding for components that exceed what is reasonable or appropriate to request from the NLTF or reduce these components to the level that they can be funded from the NLTF. 

National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020(external link)

One Network Framework

The ONF provides a common language that can assist in linking strategies and policies together to support better, more holistic decision-making. This common language also offers a mechanism to translate local movement and place frameworks into a national framework for more aligned investment decision-making.. When fully implemented, it will provide a means for determining consistent place value across the network.

The form of infrastructure will be driven by design and construction standards and assessments of the context elements that are necessary to support the transport function locally, regionally, and nationally. Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) need to demonstrate how maintenance and renewal activities and proposed improvements contribute to addressing the identified problems and why it is necessary to include elements that are inconsistent with identified ONF expectations. To assist with assessment for investment, a record should be made of the features or actions that support the outcomes and compare these against those identified in the ONF. 

Urban design

We (Waka Kotahi), as a signatory to the 2005 New Zealand Urban Design Protocol, are committed to planning, developing and promoting quality urban design. The Waka Kotahi document Bridging the gap provides policy and guidance for Waka Kotahi projects, other projects we have funded, and planning as it relates to the integration of land use and transport.

National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020(external link)

New Zealand Urban Design Protocol(external link)

Bridging the gap: NZTA urban design guidance

In 2020 the National Policy Statement on Urban Development was gazetted with a goal of improving how cities respond to growth to enable improved housing supply, affordability, and wellbeing. More recently, larger urban areas are required to adopt medium density residential standards to boost housing supply further and enable more types of housing. The overall effect of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development is to enable housing intensification in areas of high demand and access, especially within walking distance of public transport hubs. Waka Kotahi is a partner in spatial plans being developed via a multi-stakeholder process for the six largest metropolitan areas as part of the government’s Urban Growth Agenda. 

Planning the road network includes considering how place elements can be incorporated in the short, medium and long term. The optioneering process should clearly identify and explain the different options and how they can be implemented Further guidance on how to do this can be found be found in the Aotearoa urban street planning & design guide. It is useful to ensure that transport costs and place costs are clearly separated and not mixed in together. The Cost estimation manual (SM014) provides guidance on how to do this.

Aotearoa urban street planning and design guide

Cost estimation manual (SM014) 

Urban design components such as plantings, artistic and cultural features, seating, and kerbing can be incorporated as necessary components for new infrastructure and services, renewals, and improvements. Additional costs associated with operating and maintaining urban design features may also be eligible if they are consistent with the appropriate street family classification and relevant activity class, and work category eligibility criteria. Tools and guidance on processes for development and assessment are available on the Waka Kotahi website.

Urban design and landscape

Work on improving urban design policy settings is ongoing and will be updated as emerging policy is finalised.


Any activity that is for commercial use, restricts public use or has only private benefits will be ineligible for funding from the NLTF.

We do not fund ongoing maintenance of place facilities that were not part of the approved improvement project.