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This work category enables funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) for the response to a defined, major, short-duration natural event (a qualifying event) that has reduced or will reduce customer levels of transport service significantly below those that existed prior to the event and results in unforeseen, significant expenditure.

Qualifying activities

The work category covers assets, facilities and services that are eligible for funding from the NLTF that require:

  • any immediate response required for public safety or to provide vital access, and
  • reinstatement of customer levels of transport service

Activities not eligible for emergency works funding are described under 'Exclusions' below.

Qualifying events

Events that qualify for NLTF funding as emergency works will:

  • be of unusually large magnitude or severity for the particular area in which they occur (as a guide, they would be expected to have an annual return period greater than 1 in 10 years)
  • originate from natural, short duration triggering events, including very high intensity rainfall, severe wind, severe drought in government declared drought areas or seismic events
  • have reduced, or will reduce within a 12 month period, levels of transport service significantly below those that existed prior to the event
  • involve a total cost of $100,000 or more per event per Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways) region
  • be clearly defined, named and described, with a separate funding application required for each event.


A range of exclusions applies to the work category.

  • Exclusions


    The work category excludes:

    • minor events of less than $100,000 total cost – these must be funded from within the organisation's approved maintenance programme under Work category 140: Minor events
    • the effects of scour, degradation, aggredation and land movements that have accumulated over time
    • costs of damage or deficiencies from land movements that have not been triggered by a specific event
    • the repair of any damage to work under construction, including within the post-construction maintenance period – this is a charge to the activity under construction and is expected to be covered by the supplier's insurance
    • any damage that is the result of a human intervention or incident, eg caused by a vehicle crash or operational activity
    • improvements associated with permanent reinstatement – these should be assessed and prioritised as improvement activities, separate from the emergency works funding application and, if approved, funded from the appropriate improvement activity class and work category
    • costs to respond to damage that may be caused by qualifying events but to activities that are not eligible for funding from the NLTF, eg aesthetic treatments on berms, shoulders, medians and traffic islands
    • reinstatement of damaged footpaths, other than where the footpath is attached to a section of damaged kerb and channel that requires reinstatement as an emergency works.
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Guidance – high intensity rainfall events

For information on return period storm events see the NIWA high intensity rainfall design system (HIRDS).(external link)

Rainfall recorded at specific weather stations throughout New Zealand can be accessed through the NIWA Cliflo(external link) service. Users need to subscribe for this free service.

Difference between emergency works and resilience improvements

Emergency works respond to damage or deficiencies caused by defined, out of the ordinary, natural events.

Resilience improvements (formerly Preventive maintenance) provide for non-routine work required to protect the serviceability of roads and cycleways from damage, and to minimise the threat of road closure arising from natural phenomena. The activity is not connected to a defined event.

Funding assistance rates

The usual funding assistance rate that applies to emergency works for qualifying events within each Transport Agency financial year is:

  • for cumulative claims for total costs of emergency works up to 10% of the Approved Organisation's total cost of its approved maintenance programme for the year (as approved when the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP ) was adopted), the Approved Organisation's normal FAR
  • for the part of cumulative claims of total costs of emergency works that exceeds 10% of the Approved Organisation's total cost of its approved maintenance programme for the year, the Approved Organisation's normal FAR plus 20% to a maximum of 95%
  • eg:
    • an Approved Organisation's maintenance programme for a year may have been approved at a total cost of $5 million
    • its normal FAR for that year may be 52%
    • its cumulative claims for emergency works in the same year may total $700,000
    • the FAR for the first $500,000 (10% of $5 million) will be 52%
    • the FAR for the $200,000 above 10% will be 72%
  • for emergency works on special purpose roads, the Approved Organisation's special purpose roads maintenance FAR.

Extreme events bespoke arrangements for hardship reasons

Where there is evidence that an extreme event, or a series of large events, results in emergency works expenditure beyond an Approved Organisation's ability to raise local share and continue to provide appropriate levels of service on its network over the next three years, the Transport Agency may consider a bespoke arrangement.

The criteria that the Transport Agency will consider in making a decision on bespoke arrangements include:

  • the estimated annual emergency works local share by applying the above policy over the next three years, relative to the Approved Organisation's maintenance programme local share and its annual revenue – the expectation is that the emergency works local share would be a substantial proportion of both maintenance programme local share and revenue
  • the financial position of the Approved Organisation and its ability to raise local share for the emergency works expenditure, ie evidence of hardship
  • the urgency to complete the emergency works and ability to programme them over time.

The bespoke arrangement could, for instance, consist of a short-term enhanced emergency works FAR or the Transport Agency could front load more of the emergency works spend in the first year or two with the Approved Organisation paying its local share over a longer time period.

An application for a bespoke arrangement that involves an enhanced FAR would trigger the Transport Agency's significance policy, requiring the decision to enter an arrangement to be elevated to the Board. While any bespoke arrangement is being negotiated, the Transport Agency's emergency works policy above will continue to apply.

Emergency works process – detail

Applications for and approvals of emergency works funding are expected to follow the process set out above. The key steps are:

  1. Following an event damage to the network is identified by the Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways).
  2. The decision to take action for the immediate response to ensure public safety and restore vital access rests with the Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) - there is no requirement to notify the Transport Agency (planning & investment) regional representative and the investment decision is exempt from the procurement procedure requirements of s.25 of the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA).
  3. The Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) notifies the regional Transport Agency (planning & investment) representative of the event to forewarn of the potential application for emergency works. The notification is an input to a briefing note to the Minister for extreme events.
  4. The Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) assesses damage caused by an event and estimates the scope and cost of reinstatement.
  5. The Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) checks whether the activity is eligible for emergency works funding against criteria in 'Qualifying activities', 'Qualifying events' and 'Exclusions' sections above.
  6. If not eligible, the cost is not to be funded as an emergency works and will be delivered either under an alternative work category, eg Work category 140: Minor events, or from an alternative funding source outside of the NLTF.
  7. The Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways) checks whether NLTF funding for the activity can be approved under delegated authority. If within delegation the Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) may proceed to Step 10.
  8. If outside of delegated authority, the Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) will contact their regional Transport Agency (planning & investment) representative within one week of the event and request an inspection of the damage.
  9. Within 4 weeks of the event, the Transport Agency (planning & investment) regional representative will inspect the site, confirm it is eligible as emergency works and agree the scope of works and cost estimate. Alternatively, the representative may forego a physical inspection and instead rely on photographs and a report.
  10. Within 6 weeks of the event, the Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency (state highways) applies for funding assistance via Transport Investment Online (TIO). A separate project is required for each defined event with an event specific title. Supporting documentation, e.g. photos, reports and costings, should be unloaded into TIO. No generalised funding applications, eg '2014/15 Emergency works' will be accepted.
  11. The funding application is approved at the appropriate authority level. If a bespoke arrangement that involves an enhanced FAR  is proposed, this must be approved by the Board.
  12. The approval is processed in TIO. Other than for a bespoke arrangement, the TIO system will set the FAR(s) that will apply to the activity.

Conditions of funding

General conditions of funding that apply to emergency works are:

  • the Transport Agency's uneconomic roading facilities policy will be applied to all investment decisions for permanent reinstatement of roads and infrastructure – if a facility is determined to be uneconomic under the policy, the Transport Agency may decide not to co-invest, in full or at all, in its reinstatement
  • permanent reinstatement to restore levels of transport service is subject to s.25 LTMA procurement procedure requirements
  • application of the One Network Roading Classification (ONRC) – while the Transport Agency's emergency works policy is to reinstate to pre-existing levels of service, it may, where the ONRC service level is lower than existed previously, decide to co-invest to achieve the appropriate ONRC level of service rather than the full reinstatement of service levels – where the ONRC points to a higher level of service than existed prior to the event being appropriate, the increase in service level should be justified and approved as an improvement activity, funded under the appropriate improvement activity class and work category
  • approval of emergency works funding presumes applicants have applied sound asset management practice and have maintained any assets damaged by a qualifying event to a reasonable standard, taking into account the age and original construction standard of the assets – where the Transport Agency considers that the damaged assets had not been maintained to a reasonable standard, or that the damage could have been mitigated by reasonable cost preventive interventions, it may decide to decline or reduce the total cost for approval of the emergency works funding application

Applying for funding approval

Applications for funding approval should be made through the 'Emergency works' module in Transport Investment Online(external link) (TIO). A separate project needs to be set up in TIO for each event, with relevant documentation uploaded to support the application.

Emergency works activities do not require to be added to the relevant Regional Land Transport Plan prior to approval and will be added to the NLTP automatically on processing of an approval.

End of year reconciliation and carryover

At the end of each year, the emergency works approvals will be reconciled to claims. Any application that does not qualify as emergency works due to the total cost being less than $100,000 will be moved to Work category 140: Minor events, and its FAR adjusted. This will mean that the FARs for the remaining emergency works may also require adjustment in TIO. Any carryover to the following year will be added to any approved emergency works in that year and the appropriate FAR applied.

Transport Investment Online (TIO) will automatically carryover the unspent allocation every year.  It is vital that Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) declare as surplus any unused allocation for completed approved emergency works activities by making a cost scope adjustment via the Reviews module in TIO.