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Rail safety regulator funding review

We want to hear your views on our proposals to fund rail safety regulation. Please tell us by 5pm Wednesday 21 November 2018.


The NZ Transport Agency (the Transport Agency), as rail safety regulator (the regulator), is responsible for the implementation of the Railways Act 2005. The regulator provides independent assurance to government and the public that those who provide rail services in New Zealand effectively manage any safety risks to staff, other rail operators, and the general public.

The regulatory function is funded by third-party fees and levies set in the Railways Regulations 2008. The fees and levies set in 2008 were set below the revenue required for the regulator to break even and have remained at this rate. The current income from fees and levies approximates $1.2 million per annum. This is insufficient to cover the costs of providing the rail function and the rail function is in deficit. In July 2017, the Board of the Transport Agency wrote off the deficit of $5 million accrued since 2008.

Funding review consultation

The Transport Agency is seeking input into how we can resolve the funding constraint. We estimate that an annual income of $4.15 million is needed to ensure we become a more effective rail safety regulator, and cover our costs (including recovery of the current deficit). The funding model used is proposed to apply through to 2023/24 and is designed to achieve break even over this period. This consultation proposes an option to meet these costs by amending the current fee and introducing a new variable safety levy for rail safety regulatory activity.

The Transport Agency is consulting on this proposal prior to any final recommendations on funding being reached. Any change to the current fee or levies can only be actioned, should the Government agree to them.

Consultation document

Supporting documents

The following are supporting documents which have helped inform the preferred option:

Frequently asked questions

View the frequently asked questions to find out more about the funding review.

How to have your say

This is your opportunity to have your say before a final decision is made by the Transport Agency about rail safety regulator funding.

The consultation period for the Rail Safety Regulator Funding Review begins on Wednesday 10 October 2018 and closes at 5pm, Wednesday 21 November 2018.

You can have your say by either:

Completed submissions can be:

  • emailed to, or
  • posted to:

    Rail Safety Regulator Funding Review
    New Zealand Transport Agency
    Private Bag 6995

All submission must be provided in writing either digitally or in physical form. If submitters wish, they can follow up any digital submission with a copy posted to us.

Your submission will become publicly available information, so please indicate clearly if your comments are commercially sensitive or if there is some other reason they should not be disclosed. Any request for non-disclosure will be considered in terms of the Official Information Act 1982. Read the Official Information Act 1982(external link)

Consultation closes 5pm, Wednesday 21 November 2018.