Planning & Investment Knowledge Base

Developing a Transport Programme - Overview



This section provides an overview of the requirements for Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency(state highways) to prepare their transport programmes for input to a Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP).


Preparing a transport programme for input to the RLTP

All local road and state highway activities that are proposed for inclusion in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) must be included in an RLTP. This requires Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (State Highways) to develop their transport programmes, through which they propose activities for inclusion in an RLTP, and submit them to the appropriate Regional Transport Committee.


Under the Land Transport Management Act, the Transport Agency sets the form that RLTPs are to be submitted for consideration for the NLTP. This, in turn, prescribes the form in which Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (State Highways) need to submit their proposals for inclusion in an RLTP via Transport Investment Online.


The criteria that apply to activities proposed for inclusion in an RLTP and the NLTP are less stringent than those that apply to activities for which funding approval is sought. This means that activities may be proposed for inclusion in an RLTP or the NLTP at an early stage of their development, while activities proposed for funding need to be developed sufficiently to enable funding approval.


NZ Transport Agency’s Planning and investment principles

Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (State Highways) are expected to apply the Transport Agency’s planning and investment principles in developing their transport programmes and activities.


Development path

The 2012-15 NLTP activities derived from studies, strategies, packages and/or plans can continue to be developed using this apporach.  However, Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (State Highways) are encouraged to incorporate the principles of the Business Case Approach into activities for which they are currently seeking funding approval.  In particular, they should ensure that there is a clear statement of the problem and the consequences of not fixing the problem(s), and identify the potential outcomes and benefits that should be achieved from addressing the problem.


As of July 2015,  Approved Organisations’ and the Transport Agency (State Highways) are expected to use the Business Case Approach for all Transport Planning activities.


Structure of programme

Approved Organisations and the NZ Transport Agency (State Highways) should structure their transport programmes by:


  • Activity class - which will be largely managed through the use of the correct Transport Investment Online module.
  • Programme Business Cases - activities which target a defined problem should be identified and linked to a programme business case under the Business case Approach. Activities developed prior to the Transport Agency's adoption of the Business Case Approach that synergistically target a defined problem should be identified and linked in a package.
  • Programmes – comprising routine, low risk activities that are delivered in a reasonably continuous manner, e.g. road maintenance programme or public transport services programme.
  • Improvement projects of over $300,000 estimated construction cost are set up as stand alone projects in Transport Investment Online. No project under $300,000 construction cost should be developed as a stand alone project, unless it is a Road Safety Promotion activity.
  • Minor improvement projects of less than $300,000 estimated construction cost - each Approved Organisation and Transport Agency(state highways) region will receive a base funding allocation, provided it has met the conditions of funding for minor improvements. Detail is set out under work category 341 for roading minor improvements and work category 531 for public transport minor improvements.


Evidence based justification

All activities that are proposed for funding assistance under the NLTP must be supported by robust evidence.  This needs to be demonstrated during programme negotiation with the Transport Agency(Planning & Investment).


Robust evidence is to be provided in Transport Investment Online fields and uploaded supporting information, including strategies, business cases, activity management plans, regional passenger transport plans, project feasibility reports, scheme assessment reports, economic evaluation worksheets, etc.


Assessment profile

Each activity will be assessed by the Transport Agency (Planning & Investment), using the Transport Agency’s Assessment Framework. The resulting assessment profile is used to ascertain the activity’s priority for inclusion and programming in the NLTP.


Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (State Highways) should use the Assessment Framework to determine the assessment profiles of their activities, and to inform their decisions to submit activities for inclusion in an RLTP.



The Transport Agency’s prioritisation of activities for programming in the NLTP utilises the priority order table, which sets out the assessment profiles in descending order of profile. 


Key Information

The AO Local Transport Programmes and State Highways Programmes processes, with their attached text provide detailed information on how to develop transport plans.  This information covers:


The NZ Transport Agency provides information guide templates which outline the information required by it to form a view of the activity's degree of integration, priority, alignment and readiness, in order to invest with confidence.



Last Updated: 01/09/2017 4:41pm