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The strategic fit, effectiveness and benefit and cost appraisal are brought together to form an assessment profile, which is used to prioritise activities in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

The Transport Agency, in the development of the NLTP and in its investment decisions, will review the assessments made and prioritise activities within each activity class using their assessment profiles. Additional factors identified may be taken into consideration.

Prioritising activities within the NLTP

Only programmes and activities assessed with at least a medium strategic fit and medium effectiveness will progress to prioritisation.

Programmes and activities assessed as having low strategic fit should remain at the strategic business case stage and programmes and activities assessed as having low effectiveness should not progress beyond the programme business case.

A prioritisation table is used that lists all possible profiles and assigns a priority based on:

  1. Strategic fit and effectiveness
  2. Benefit and cost appraisal

Priority order of improvement profiles

The following table shows the priority order of assessment profiles for improvements to local roads, state highways, public transport, and walking and cycling.

Two stage process for improvement activities

Improvement projects that have yet to be approved, other than minor improvements, are assessed and prioritised in two stages:

  1. Inclusion in the NLTP - the project owner's assessment is considered by the Transport Agency, which then determines its assessment profile. The activities proposed for inclusion in the NLTP are prioritised based on the Transport Agency's profiles and those at or above the funding threshold are included in the NLTP, plus R funded projects where relevant. In many cases, full information for the activity will not be available due to the state of its development, which means its assessment profile is tentative at this stage.
  2. Funding approval - during the course of the NLTP, when activities are submitted for funding approval, the project owner's and Transport Agency's assessments are reviewed and the assessment profiles confirmed or revised. Full information to inform the investment decision must be made available at this stage. The resulting priority order is compared with the funding threshold for the activity class and a decision made whether to fund the activity.

Priority order of programmes profiles

The following table shows the priority order of assessment profiles for programmes of work for public transport services, maintenance, and road safety promotion.

One stage process for programme activities

Programmed activities, including public transport services, road maintenance, road safety promotion and minor improvements programmes, are assessed by the programme owner. This is taken into account by the Transport Agency in making its assessment and determining its assessment profile. Sufficient information usually exists at the time of including these activities in the NLTP to also make the investment decision and approve their funding, most often for all three years of the NLTP.

Allocation of funds from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF)

As a rule, NLTF funds are allocated to the highest priority activities in the National Land Transport Programme first.

Any remaining regionally distributed (R) funds are allocated to the highest priority improvement projects in each region until the funds are fully allocated. Under the legacy R funding policy, projects with low strategic fit and/or effectiveness may be allocated R funds if they are of highest priority in the region. Collection of R funds ceased on 31 March 2015. The Transport Agency Board has resolved that the term for their expenditure expires 30 June 2018, except for Nelson which has until 30 June 2021. R funds can be allocated to the following activity classes, including minor improvements:

  • State Highway Improvements
  • Local Road Improvements
  • Walking and Cycling Improvements
  • Public transport (infrastructure improvements only)
  • Regional Improvements

Crown (C) funds appropriated prior to full hypothecation of the NLTF, and now included in the NLTF, are allocated to the highest priority activities pertinent to the specified purpose for which they were originally appropriated.

Remaining projects are allocated nationally distributed (N) funds in each activity class until the total allocation of funds to that activity class is fully provided.  The Transport Agency will decide the funding allocations to each activity class within the range defined by the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.

Investment threshold

The priority order at which funding becomes fully allocated to an activity class is the funding threshold.

The threshold priority order for funding in each activity class (and region) depends on the funds allocated to each activity class and the priority of the candidate activities.

Activity Class

Investment threshold -funding priority order

State highway improvements (metropolitan areas, see Regional Improvements activity class for list of areas)


State highway improvements (non-metropolitan areas)


Local road improvements


Public transport improvements

Walking & cycling improvements 6
Regional improvements 3 (upper) – 6 (lower)
Transport planning 4

Funding priority

The Transport Agency categorises improvement activities under the following funding priorities, based on their priority order.

Committed Projects approved in a previous NLTP 
Approved Projects approved within the current NLTP
Probable Funding has not yet been approved for the activity but, based on its profile and the robust evidence provided in developing the NLTP, funding approval is likely for an application made in 2015-18, subject to funds being available.
Proposed Funding has not been approved for the activity in the 2015-18 NLTP. Based on its profile and the evidence provided in developing the NLTP, funding approval may be given when an application is made in 2015-18. Further evidence is required to confirm the assessment profile and provide confidence in the funding priority and availability of funds.
Not included in NLTP Projects which are below the funding threshold, have cash flow outside of the NLTP period, or have been excluded for eligibility reasons.

Committed activities

Committed activities do not have to be prioritised because they have already been approved by the Transport Agency.

Crown appropriations outside of the NLTF

Crown appropriations outside of the NLTF, such as the  Accelerated Regional State Highway Programme, will be allocated to the specified activities or according to the allocation rules applicable to each appropriation.