We regulate the rail system, and particularly the activities of rail participants. A rail participant is a person or organisation that provides, maintains or manages rail infrastructure or vehicles.

Our role is to ensure organisations involved in rail activity meet their safety duties and obligations, and that risks are managed. We do this by licensing certain rail participants and regularly monitoring them, investigating incidents and intervening when necessary (including prosecution), and maintaining oversight of major risks in the rail system. About 17 million tonnes of goods were moved on 5000km of track in New Zealand in 2019/20.

Regulated parties

  • Licence holders: organisations that operate trains or provide access to the track network, including metro passenger services, long-distance passenger services, freight carriers, heritage trains, tourist activities and industrial sites.
  • Passengers: 32 million in 20119/20
  • Rail workers: 7000 staff and volunteers working directly for rail licence holders in 2019/20.

Read more about our role in rail safety