Transport planning can be defined as ‘planning related to developing and operating multi modal land transport activities, especially infrastructure and services’.
However, both transport and land use are fundamental enablers to help achieve integrated economic, social and environmental outcomes. The location of transport and land use choices largely determine an area's development pattern (or spatial form), which, in turn, influences economic activity, social interaction and environmental quality.
To achieve these wider outcomes, it isn’t possible to undertake ‘transport planning’ in isolation. Instead we need to engage in integrated planning from a transport perspective at national, regional and local level, working in partnership with others such as councils and the private sector.
The NZTA promotes an integrated planning approach to support (and influence) planning and investment decisions affecting the land transport network. Transport’s role is to support the development of people, the communities they live in and the creation of a more prosperous New Zealand. Transport is an enabler and should not be a barrier to a better New Zealand.
The goal is to “unlock the potential of the network” to deliver an affordable transport system that supports a growing economy, safe and vibrant communities and a healthy environment, now and for the future.
The NZTA must pursue value for money from its transport investment on behalf of the government. To do this the NZTA engages in planning on a number of levels to ensure it maximises transport investment outcomes around the following:
Integrated planning can be viewed as a “three legged stool”. Each leg is required to ensure the stool stands up.
Planning at a national and pan-regional level is required for issues such as freight and tourism which are not constrained by local authority boundaries.
At a regional level, network alignment to manage growth, deliver infrastructure and the provision of services is required. This is especially important in the larger metropolitan areas to achieve one integrated network for transport users.
At a local (district/city) level, planning tends to focus on ad hoc issues and specific investment proposals. The key urban planning issues tend to centre on the management of residential and business growth, congestion, freight, tourism and safety. In rural areas the key issues tend to be safety, freight, tourism and route security.
The NZTA also works with stakeholders to ensure that land use planning and development does not compromise or reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the state highway network.
The NZTA is working to achieve: