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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA; Māori: Waka Kotahi)[2] is a New Zealand Crown entity tasked with promoting safe and functional transport by land, including the responsibility for driver and vehicle licensing, and administering the New Zealand state highway network. It was created on 1 August 2008 by the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008, merging Transit New Zealand with Land Transport New Zealand.[3] Its legal name, as established by the Act, is New Zealand Transport Agency,[4] but it operates as NZ Transport Agency.[2] Its Māori name, Waka Kotahi, means "one vessel" and is intended to convey the concept of "travelling together as one".[2]

NZ Transport Agency
Waka Kotahi
NZTA Logo RGB.png
Agency overview
Formed1 August 2008; 11 years ago (2008-08-01)
Preceding agencies
JurisdictionGovernment of New Zealand
HeadquartersVictoria Arcade, 50 Victoria Street, Wellington
Employees1575[citation needed]
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • Mark Ratcliffe, Interim Chief Executive[1]


Public data accessEdit

The Transport Agency stores registration, licensing and warrant of fitness details for any road-registered vehicle within New Zealand, including cars, motorbikes, trailers, trucks and earthmoving/agricultural machinery. Any member of the public can query the Transport Agency's database by making a request using the licence plate or VIN number at an NZ Post outlet, or by using a vehicle checking website.

Road signageEdit

Road signs in New Zealand fall under the authority of the Transport Agency and are prescribed in the Traffic Control Devices (TCD) Manual.


The Transport Agency has been recognised, alongside its partners, by industry and professional bodies for innovation and best practice. Some of the awards received include:

  • The Transport Agency's Zero Harm Reporting Tool won the award for the Institute's HR technology category for 2016.[5]
  • The Highway and Network Operations Environment and Urban Design team took out the 2015 New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Award for landscape publications.[6]
  • The Transport Agency and Hamilton consultancy Bloxam, Burnett and Olliver were the winners at the 2015 Planning Institute Awards. Planning practices for the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway saw them jointly claim the Best Practice Award for District and Regional Planning, and the overall Nancy Northcroft Supreme Best Practice Award.[7]
  • Three gold Effie Awards for the Legend ('Ghost Chips') drink-driving campaign.[8]
  • In 2014 the Transport Agency received worldwide recognition for road safety advertising, with their advertising agency, Clemenger BBDO, picking up several prestigious national and international awards for ‘Mistakes’ and ‘Blazed’ at the Cannes Lions.[9]
  • The 2012 Civils Demolition award for the Newmarket Viaduct.[10]
  • The 2012 Excellence in Engineering for Safety award for the KiwiRAP star ratings system.[11]
  • IT Project of the Year at the 2012 ITEX Computerworld Awards for the Business Continuity Programme.[12]
  • Craig Soutar won Chief Information Officer of the Year in 2013.[13]
  • 2012 WriteMark Plain English Awards[14] and 2013 Public Relations Institute of NZ Awards[15] for the changes to the give way rules campaign and the Manawatū gorge road closure communications.
  • An award for ‘Restoring native plant life to road corridors' at the 2012 New Zealand Plant Conservation Network awards.[16]

Early controversyEdit

The initial Transport Agency board was criticised by the National Party-led opposition in July 2008 as being "stacked" with political appointees of the Labour Party-led government.[17] A National Party-led government was formed after the general election later in 2008, and a number of board members were reappointed or replaced.[18]

Board resignationsEdit

In January 2019, three members of the board of directors resigned, about six weeks after the resignation of Chief Executive Fergus Gammie. They were Adrienne Young-Cooper, Chris Ellis and Fran Wilde. Minister of Transport Phil Twyford said the agency had been "going through a massive change process", with its compliance work in the issuing of vehicle Warrant of Fitnesses under review.[19]

Mark Ratcliffe, former head of telco Chorus, was appointed Interim Chief Executive.[20]

On 26 April 2019, chairman Michael Stiassny announced his resignation.[21] On 11 June 2019, Brian Roche commenced his second term as chairman of the NZ Transport Agency; Roche had previously been the inaugural chairman from 2008.[22][23]


  1. ^ "Troubled NZTA names interim chief executive". 20 December 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Visual identity guidelines" (PDF). NZ Transport Agency. 23 October 2009. p. 7. Retrieved 13 January 2013. Our name is the NZ Transport Agency. Please don’t spell out New Zealand or give 'the' a capital 'T'. Waka Kotahi is the Māori name [...] NZTA is our abbreviated name., superseded by "NZ Transport Agency Brand Manual" (PDF). 24 February 2016. "Our name" section A.2 page 5
  3. ^ "New Transport Agency chief appointed". Land Transport New Zealand. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Part 4: New Zealand Transport Agency, regional transport committees, and miscellaneous provisions". Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008
  5. ^ "Winners announced at NZ HR awards". HRM New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  6. ^ "2015 Award Winners". New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  7. ^ "2015 Awards Winners". NZPI. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  8. ^ "2015 New Zealand Effie Awards Gala Dinner - Results". CAANZ. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity". Adforum. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Best of the best - the 2012 World Demolition Awards". KHL Group. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Excellence in Engineering for Safety 2012". New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards.
  12. ^ "ITEX Computerworld Awards 2012 winners announced". Computerworld. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  13. ^ "CIO Awards 2013". CIO Awards New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  14. ^ "2012 Awards". Plain English Awards. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  15. ^ "PRINZ Awards 2013". PRINZ. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Network Plant Conservation Awards 2012". New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Nats slam transport 'stooges'". The New Zealand Herald. 26 July 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  18. ^ "NZTA Board appointments announced". Press Release: New Zealand Government. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Three NZTA directors resign in wake of fall-out over enforcement issues". 26 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Troubled NZTA names interim chief executive". 20 December 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Transport Agency chair Michael Stiassny steps down saying he's done his job". 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  22. ^ Laing, Doug (1 January 2017). "New knight grew up in Hastings". Hawke's Bay Today. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  23. ^ Twyford, Phil (12 June 2019). "Sir Brian Roche appointed to chair NZTA Board". The Beehive. Retrieved 13 June 2019.

External linksEdit