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What is the National Speed Limit Register (NSLR)?

The National Speed Limit Register (NSLR) being developed by the NZ Transport Agency will provide a modern, GIS-enabled, central source of all fixed speed limits for roads in New Zealand.

Why is a NSLR needed?

Currently, speed limit data across the country is not stored and published in a consistent way. A new register is needed so that all speed limit data is held in one place that will be a single source of truth.

The register will enable the data to be accessed by the public and by third party vendors (such as map providers like Google). It will also enable organisations responsible for speed management to more easily comply with the Setting of Speed Limit Rule and Speed Management Guide.

Speed limits, and communication of those limits to road users, is core to road safety. Speed limit data is used by the public, enforcers and increasingly by intelligent systems in vehicles. The NSLR will make it easier for people to access and utilise that data.

How will the NSLR benefit me?

The register will be an easy-to-use online system which will make it easier for you to update and share speed limit data.

The public will be able to access speed limit data more easily, meaning administration times for Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) to deal with data requests will be reduced.

Do I have to use the NSLR?

Under the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017, you are required to maintain a register of all fixed speed limits under your jurisdiction.

While current legislation doesn’t require you to use the NSLR, future legislative changes will mandate publication of speed limits in order for a speed limit to be legally enforceable. 

We strongly recommend all RCAs move to the new register as soon as practicable.  The Transport Agency will work with you to migrate your data and train you to use the system. Once your data is in the NSLR, it will be a lot easier to update and share your data.

What do I need to do to change to the new register?

All of your current speed limit data and information about the associated bylaws needs to be migrated to the NSLR. This process will differ depending on your current process and the format of your current register. We will work with each RCA to determine the best approach.

When do I need to migrate my data?

If you are in the RCA reference group, the Transport Agency will work with you from July to November 2019 to migrate your data.

After November 2019, RCAs not in the reference group will be supported to migrate their data before October 2020.

See the timeline for implementation of the NSLR.

Why is there a quality review by the Transport Agency?

Road Controlling Authorities are already required under the Setting of Speed Limits Rule to notify the Transport Agency of all upcoming speed limit changes. The ownership of the setting of speed limit process and outcomes of that process remains with the RCA. The quality review step allows the Transport Agency to review the data entered into the system against the RCA’s legal instrument. However, ultimately the RCA is responsible for the accuracy of all speed limits entered into the NSLR.

How should I engage with people and organisations who want access to our speed data?

Under the Setting of Speed Limit Rule, RCAs are required to keep a register of existing speed limits and make that register available. Continue to use and publish your current register for now, which you can direct third parties who want access to your speed data to.

When the register becomes available, your data will be published via the NZTA Open Data Portal which will provide the ability for all interested parties to view and download the speed limits for both your area of interest and any others in New Zealand.

Do I need to geocode my data?

If your speed limits are already geocoded, that’s great.  If they are not already geocoded or available on maps, we will work with you to geocode it as part of the migration activity.  There is no need to do it beforehand and there is no need to engage any third party to help you.  If you do engage a third party, there may be commercial limitations on the use of the data they help with, and we would not be able to use that data and would need to recreate it directly from the bylaws (see Why do I need to sign a contract to be part of the RCA reference group).

What should I do about new and upcoming speed limit changes that are occurring between now and when the register becomes available?

We will work with each RCA to ensure that migration of your data to the speed limit register occurs at a time when your speed limits are up to date.  After the register becomes available, RCAs will receive training on how to record new speed limits directly into the register. This will occur in late 2019.

What will I have to do once the register is set up?

Once your data is migrated to the register, you will need to update your speed limit data as it changes, like you do now. This will be a lot easier with the new register.

The specific functionality of the system, and how you will update data, is currently being designed. Full training on how to update your data will be provided.

Will I receive any support to help me change to the new register?

Yes. The NZ Transport Agency will provide you with support to migrate your data to the new register and will provide you with training. Exactly what that support will entail is still being confirmed and will be dependent on the needs of each RCA.

What is the timeline for implementation of the NSLR?

The NSLR is being developed from September 2018 - mid-late 2019 and will be rolled out in three phases:

  1. To the NZ Transport Agency RCAs – mid-late 2019
  2. To the RCA reference group – July-November 2019
  3. To remaining RCAs – December 2020

When will the register be live?

As each RCA is converted, the data for that area will be available to the public and third parties.  We aim to have all the information in the register by the end of 2020.

Will I be able to get my speed limit data out of the register?

Yes. The NSLR project will deliver the capability to extract speed limits in a wide range of commonly used formats, including those used in GIS systems.

How do the public and other data users access the register?

We expect to provide speed limits in interactive maps for use by the public. For organisations or individuals that would like to use the data in their own systems, we will provide data in commonly used formats for import. RCAs will have login access to update speed limits on roads in their jurisdiction.

What is the RCA reference group?

We are currently looking to form a group of representative RCAs to act as early adopters of the NSLR. This will include trialling speed register conversion and subsequent use of the register to manage their speed limit records.

Why do I need to sign a contract to be part of the RCA reference group?

There are two reasons RCAs involved in the reference group are asked to sign a contract:

1. To ensure consistency and completeness

In the long term it is proposed that the Rule will require speed limits to be recorded in the register to be legal. However, this legislation change won’t be in place for the reference group data migration, so the contract will commit RCAs to maintaining their speed limit data in the register and not reverting to keeping their own records instead (which will still be legal until the legislation change). It is important that the RCA reference group’s speed limit records are in the register for consistency and completeness through until the legislative change to justify the Agency’s investment in the migration programme and so rework is not required.

2. To ensure we are not breaking any existing copyright

Speed limit bylaws (or any other bylaw) cannot be copyrighted. However, if an RCA has engaged a third party to apply geocoding or other additional information to their speed limit data, that data may be subject to copyright. In this case, the Transport Agency will create their speed limit records from ‘scratch’ – meaning from the bylaws, rather than through the third party data. The contract is asking you to check that you do not have existing legal constraints on the distribution of any of the data you provide us. Note: It is not expected that many RCAs will fall into this category.

3. To ensure the speed limit data can be put to use by the public and by industry partners

The NSLR will be the single source of truth for speed limits in New Zealand. It is important that speed limits be made available for free, open and commercial use by individuals and organisations. "Clause 4. Use of RCA Data” enables the Transport Agency to provide a wide licence to other people to use the information you provide, if any such information is covered by copyrights. This includes the right to "modify" the data. Modification of speed limit data would be expected to be the reformatting or addition of supporting information in the user’s own systems. The clause does not allow them to modify speed limit data in our system, and they would have no practical way of doing so. If someone chose to modify the data, and publish the wrong speed limit for example, that would ultimately be an issue between that publisher and the end user rather than the end user and the RCA.

How will I receive updates on the progress of the NSLR project?

Updates will be provided in the Transport Agency’s Local Government Bulletin and on the Transport Agency's website. The Transport Agency will also attend relevant forums and conferences (eg Trafinz conference in November 2018) to provide updates and an opportunity for you to ask questions in person.

Will this change how speed limits are set?

No. The project does not address or affect speed limit setting processes. The Speed Management Guide [PDF, 7.4 MB] remains the resource for guidance on that process.

Who can I contact if I have any questions about the NSLR?

Please email