Planning & Investment Knowledge Base

Transport Agency policy consultation and communication guidance



This section describes how the Transport Agency involves relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders in the review of its policies set out in this Knowledge Base.




  • changes specifically required by legislation or Ministerial direction,
  • procedural updates of existing policy,
  • proposed new policy or policy reviews that are not substantive, 
  • clarification of existing policy, or
  • the issue of information by the Transport Agency.



While the process needs to remain flexible to respond to the circumstances existing at the time, it would normally comprise the following components:

  • development of the plan – this covers the type of mechanisms to be used,  identification of the stakeholders to be involved as well as the objectives, relevant timeframes and the process for analysing feedback and reporting to decision makers
  • communication and publicity – this discusses how relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders involved in the process will be advised of progress and the outcomes
  • implementation of the policy – this outlines the tools the Transport Agency will use to promote awareness and understanding of the policy
  • review of the process this sets out the review phase of the policy consultation and communication process


Development of the consultation plan

The Transport Agency will advise relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders on the timing and process for the proposed consultation before the consultation phase is scheduled to be initiated. The Transport Agency will endeavour to provide two weeks notice where possible.


The consultative process may comprise one or more of the following mechanisms:

  • sector communications – used to advise, educate or raise awareness of the scope during the early stages of a major new policy
  • workshops used to educate interested parties at various times during the development stage of a new policy and enable debate and feedback on options and proposals during the course of the engagement
  • established advisory groups – used to debate issues, update on progress, seek views on significant issues (e.g. Public Transport Leadership Forum, RCA The Minister, Department of State, Crown entity, state enterprise or territorial authority that controls the road. Forums and Local Government NZ, and council or regional transport committee meetings).
  • working group/industry groupused where the technical input of one or more relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders and/or Transport Agency teams is necessary to develop policy where significant consultation and discussion is needed
  • distribution of a draft policy or policy issue(s) to a selected number of Approved Organisations and stakeholders – used where technical input, scrutiny or peer review is needed to ensure that the policy is correct and workable and to identify unforeseen implications or impediments to implementation. This mechanism suits policy that does not have significant compliance cost/practical difficulties, policies that have been requested by a majority of relevant Approved Organisations or policies where significant support has been previously identified.
  • distribution of a draft policy or policy issue(s) to all relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders for comment used where a significant number of Approved Organisations has expressed an interest/commitment to providing comment within a certain timeframe. All relevant Approved Organisations will be kept informed and given the opportunity to comment. If council consideration is required, average meeting cycles will be considered in the development of the timeframe.
  • a combination of any of the above – may be used if a policy falls within several of these categories. In some circumstances, an alternative mechanism may be identified as being more appropriate. 

Stakeholders will be identified according to their relevance to the change in policy. In most cases, changes to policy in this Knowledge Base will require Approved Organisation representation in the stakeholder group(s). Other stakeholders, including Māori, may also be involved in the consultation process, such as through representation on working groups or direct meetings and correspondence.

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Communication and publicity

The Transport Agency may include reference to the particular policy review, consultation process and timing in the next publication of the its newsletters. This information may also be available on its website.


If a working/discussion group situation is used, members are responsible for ensuring that their own organisation, all other relevant Approved Organisations (including Mayors, Chief Executives, councils as applicable) and stakeholders are kept informed. Where Local Government NZ has nominated representatives, it will facilitate this communication.  Members are to keep the Transport Agency informed as to what mechanisms are being used to keep other Approved Organisations informed and obtain any feedback on issues.


The Transport Agency will keep all relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders informed as to progress with the policy development via communications, such as letters and emails to nominated representatives, or general newsletters; and will provide additional updates on request.


All relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders who provide comment on a proposed policy will receive direct feedback from the Transport Agency.  This will be in the form of a summary of the Transport Agency's overall response to the comments received. This is likely to include an outline about how the issues raised are being addressed in the policy, or an explanation about why they cannot be addressed or incorporated.


The Transport Agency will distribute working group minutes to all relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders. Any questions/comments on the minutes should be sent to the Approved Organisation working group representatives.

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Implementation of the policy

All relevant Approved Organisations and stakeholders are advised of the Transport Agency's final decision on the policy.  If a working group was involved in the policy development, its members are advised as to the variations, if any, from its recommendations and the reasons for the variations.


Once approved by the Transport Agency, all policies may be promulgated by one or more of:

  • a General Circular
  • an alert to registered users of updates to the Planning & Investment Knowledge Base
  • a news item in Transport Investment Online, the Transport Agency's funding allocation system
  • a newsletter
  • an item on the Transport Agency website or via other electronic media
  • a letter or email. 

Access to the Transport Agency's knowledge bases, manuals or manual amendments is also generally available via its website to all Approved Organisations and stakeholders. The Transport Agency will use its best endeavours to place policy changes on its website sufficiently in advance of their implementation to enable adequate familiarisation.


The Transport Agency will provide training and advice on the final policy as needed.

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Review of the process

This policy consultation and communication process is kept under review by the Transport Agency to ensure it is functioning to the satisfaction of all parties. The Strategy, Communications and Performance Group is the Transport Agency's process owner.

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Last Updated: 05/12/2014 5:03pm