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The Transport Agency constantly considers how to deliver the outcomes sought by Government in the most effective and efficient manner to obtain the best value for money. It has a responsibility to ensure costs are kept under control, and that all funding delivers the best possible outcomes for New Zealand.

Delivering the right infrastructure and services includes responding to the investment signals in GPS 2018

The development of the Investment Assessment Framework (IAF) ensures NLTF investment aligns with the GPS 2018-21 and investment is consistent across the country for all modes of travel. The IAF assesses the efficiency of proposed investments, comparing the benefits that are achieved with the inputs (primarily costs) used to achieve these benefits. The NLTP proposes only those projects assessed as having the highest priority, ensuring the right activities are being delivered at the right time, for the best price.

Ongoing advances in data collection and sharing will drive improved performance and customer insights for the whole transport system. This will help the Transport Agency better understand the customers’ experiences and needs, both for individuals and businesses, and target access improvements where interventions are most needed.

Investments are at the best costs

Investment should represent the best use of resources.

By using best practice procurement techniques to encourage and maintain competition and subsequent price tension, assessment and delivery of the proposed programme of investment will ensure whole-of-life costs are balanced against upfront construction costs. The proposed programme also includes an ongoing commitment to monitoring and research to ensure that assessments, standards and methods are constantly improved and remain innovative.

Using these frameworks and practices ensures the proposed state highway maintenance, operations, and improvement programmes achieve value for money for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The Transport Agency applies cost efficiency benchmarking to assess the costs and benefits of continuous programmes such as road maintenance, public transport and road safety promotion.

Improved returns from maintenance

The GPS increases the emphasis on improving the performance of the existing network through maintenance.

The Transport Agency works with local government through the Road Efficiency Group (REG) to improve value for money in road maintenance. This has included developing the One Network Road Classification (ONRC) system to define nationally consistent service levels for roads and identify where there are gaps in performance. This helps achieve value for money by supporting targeted investment, and informs the development of strategic objectives for the Network Operating Frameworks in place for each urban area.

The REG is also supporting value for money by sharing examples of best practice procurement and delivery across local government, helping councils avoid duplicated effort while supporting them to make smart procurement decisions that align with their needs.

The Transport Agency is working through REG to improve the ONRC to make it more fit for purpose, and to cover all modes of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport, particularly in urban areas. This will allow a mode-neutral approach to comparing the performance of roads across the country, enabling better direct investment to benefit all New Zealanders.

The Transport Agency is also reviewing its current investment decision making system to ensure its evaluation practices are transparent, fit for purpose, mode neutral, and support a long term systems view.

Innovation and technology are used to increase the net benefits from land transport investment and use

Over the next three years the Transport Agency will continue to use and refine its use of technology to actively manage demand and make the best use of existing networks and services. The development of new technologies will continue to influence how the transport system and sector operates, creating new ways to access opportunities, both for people and businesses.

Ongoing advances in data collection and sharing will drive improved performance and customer insights for the whole transport system. This will ensure a better understanding of customers’ experiences and needs, both for individuals and businesses, enabling targeted improvements where interventions are most needed.

The Transport Agency will continue to use and develop the latest traffic operations technology to maximise throughput, reduce congestion and minimise disruptions, helping reduce vehicle emissions in key urban areas. Continued investment in digital technologies will provide real-time information to commuters and tourists, helping them make informed choices about when and how they travel.