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Our research programme

Through our research programme we invest in innovative and relevant research that plays a critical role at the forefront of land transport thinking and contributes to achieving the government’s goals for transport.

The results of the research we fund must be applicable to interventions that can be cost-effectively used in New Zealand in the short-to-medium term for longer-term impacts.

The research addresses transport issues ranging from economic development and public transport, to safety concerns and asset management. Research is made available through research reports.

How can I find research reports?

On our website

You can find a listing of all our research reports on our website. The complete text of research reports published from 2005 are available on our website for downloading. PDF scans of earlier research reports are available by emailing

View all research reports

Spreadsheet of research reports

You can also download a spreadsheet (updated quarterly) that lists all research programme reports. It includes a list of key words and the abstract associated with each report and a link to the pages on our website where the reports can be downloaded, or you can request PDF scans from

Download spreadsheet of research reports [XLSX, 443 KB]

Active research

A list of all Transport Agency research programme active research projects is also available.

View the list of active research projects

Research topics

This document [PDF, 213 KB] lists the research topics proposed for the 2017/18 Research Programme. Please note that the topics may be added, deleted or changed.

Road research register

Links to all research programme reports are on the Road Research Register website run by ARRB and Austroads. This register contains land transport related research information from throughout Australasia.

Go to the Road Research Register(external link)

NZTA Research newsletter

Some newly published research programme reports, and the abstracts of all published reports, are profiled in the quarterly NZTA Research newsletter. If you would like to go on the mailing list to receive this newsletter please email

Read issues of NZTA Research

Email notifications

We can let you know by email when research reports have been published to the website. If you would like to be added to this email list, please email

Research programme requirements

To ensure that the research programme does not serve the operational needs of any single entity, the Transport Agency requires that research:

NZ Research Strategy 2016–2020

The Strategy(external link) provides a framework for fostering a better research environment that emphasises collaboration, maximises the economic and social benefits of the transport system and minimises harm. It gives clear guidance on the direction for transport research and outlines how the diverse research community can collaborate into the future. It includes four critical and inter-related enablers:

  • Investing in the right research which includes the Triple-4 Framework for knowledge development and prioritisation
  • Facilitating collaboration
  • Ensuring visibility
  • Accessing and investing in the right capability.

The NZ Transport Research Strategy has been developed alongside the Transport Domain Plan(external link). They are complementary documents and, together, provide the strategic direction we need to fill key data, information and knowledge gaps.

Information for researchers

Receive notifications of research requests

To be notified about future requests for research proposals, register on the New Zealand Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS). Once registered, GETS will notify you when Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the subject areas you have nominated are posted.

Visit the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) website(external link)

Annual research timetable

The following timetable provides an indication of the annual timings for the Transport Agency’s research programme.

Research programme development October-December
Indicative list of topics published on Transport Agency website December
Development of research specifications Commences January
Research Project Requests for Proposals issued on Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) March-September
RFP issued Date
Questions close Date + 2 weeks
Proposals due Date + 4 weeks
Notification to preferred respondent Date + 8 weeks
Contract signed Date + 12 weeks
Notification to unsuccessful respondents Date + 12 weeks

If your research proposal is accepted

Standard agreement

We have a standard agreement for research programme funded projects.

Read the Transport Agency research agreement [PDF, 4.1 MB]

Peer review

All research reports are peer reviewed by two independent peer reviewers in accordance with our peer review guidelines.

Read the Transport Agency research programme peer review guidelines [DOC, 280 KB]

Style guide

All Transport Agency research programme funded reports are prepared in accordance with our research report style guide.

Download the Transport Agency research report style guide [DOCX, 125 KB]