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This is draft guidance, and we welcome your feedback

The New Zealand Pedestrian Network Guidance (PNG) sets out ways to improve New Zealand’s walking environment. It outlines a process for deciding on the type of provision that should be made for pedestrians – including those with a wide range of disabilities – and provides design advice and standards. It provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ of best-practice guidance, specifically suited to New Zealand’s regulatory and operating environment.

Guidance development

The guidance is an update of the Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide (PPDG) (2009) and based on research and an industry survey in 2018 helped inform what guidance needed updating and what new guidance was needed. The PPDG will remain available online until the PNG is completed and ratified.  If you cannot currently find the information you are seeking in the draft PNG then contact the PNG team for assistance ( 

The PNG content was developed collaboratively by a Waka Kotahi and multi-consultant team. Input from the disability sector was sought to ensure that the walking environment caters for everybody. The Active Modes Infrastructure Group provided feedback on key topics and reviewed some material. The Active Modes Infrastructure Group (AMIG) is a working group consisting of representatives from various local authorities and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to foster best practice in planning, designing and building for active modes in New Zealand. 

Active Modes Infrastructure Group

The guidance is still being developed with several topics still to come in mid 2023, for now you’ll see an ‘under development’ note for these.

All topics are being released in draft form for six months while we seek your feedback. Following this they’ll be refined and then it’s expected that they will be finalised and ratified.

Providing for walking in New Zealand

Pedestrian friendly environments are places where it’s easy and safe to walk, where there are plenty of places to cross the street, enough space for everyone and people can generally feel relaxed. Providing such environments is key to the vibrancy, accessibility and social connectivity of our communities

In doing so, it encourages walking as a viable mode of transport for short trips in and around our communities, and recognises the important role walking also plays in many public transport and car journeys. In conjunction with walking, public transport offers the potential to replace many motor vehicle journeys.

It helps deliver on the:

Providing a Safe System for people walking

Providing a Safe System for people walking and the interventions developed, based on the principle of harm minimisation, will depend on the circumstances at each location. The guidance does not prescribe a single approach or intervention, but presents a variety of options, along with their advantages, disadvantages and limitations, and the circumstances when each would be most appropriate. It recognises that financial and technical factors may affect what can be achieved at any location or time.

See A Safe System for walking

Scope of the Guidance

The guidance promotes a consistent ‘world’s best practice’ approach to planning, designing, managing and maintaining walking infrastructure and networks.

Walking mostly takes place within a transport system that must work for a range of road users. This requires effectively integrating safety and convenience into the provision for walking along and across roads and streets. This guidance also applies to all places used by pedestrians, including shared spaces, plazas, paths through parks and recreational areas, or on private land where public presence might reasonably be expected. It applies to new developments, facility changes and existing environments.

This guidance is also a useful tool for those with an active interest in pedestrian environments, such as community leaders, local councillors, business associations and advocacy groups. As New Zealand research into walking trips increases, the guidance will be updated and augmented. 

Related guidance

The PNG complements other guidance related to land use and transport planning integration, urban form, urban design, sign and markings, and street design (including speed management) – all of which have a profound impact on the walkability of our towns and cities.

The following Waka Kotahi guides are referenced where relevant:

Other guidance sources such as local NZ guides and Austroads are also referenced where relevant.

Walking research

Making walking a safer and more attractive transport choice is a key priority for Waka Kotahi and therefore innovative and relevant research is important.

View research on walking experiences and the network for walking and footpath users in New Zealand at the link below.

Walking research

Contact us

If you have any feedback, questions regarding the PNG or innovations you would like to share, we would love to hear from you.