Officials Developing State Highway Classification System


NZTA and the transport ministry are developing a “state highway classification system to guide future investment and management of the network.”

This will categorise state highways based on the volume of traffic they carry and the function they perform - whether that’s the movement of freight, everyday travel or tourism.

Transport minister Steven Joyce says this will help ensure that our planned state highway investment and operational activities are aligned to helping routes better perform their function help improve safety and support economic growth and productivity, all within the funding allocation set out in the GPS.”

The minister also said today that giving our highways star ratings based on their safety features is important because “unfortunately some drivers seem to think all highways are the same and drive at or above the open road limit of 100km no matter what the conditions.”

International best practice is being utilised to develop the classification system, alongside work undertaken in New Zealand including the 2007 National State Highway Strategy and initial work to identify key freight and tourism routes.

Officials are working on developing draft criteria to determine categories within the classification system.

Key stakeholders will be involved once a draft of this classification has been completed with the final highway categories determined after receiving their input.

The minister said that once the classification system is developed, levels of service will be agreed for the different highway categories considering their function, form and the area they travel through.




  1. Nick R says:

    Where is the category for “peak hour single-occupant commuters”…

  2. max says:

    In New Zealand, that counts as “everyday travel”.

    Still, I kinda like the idea.

    The safety system already exists - called “KiwiRAP”, and it does a very nice job of assessing roads both on accumulated safety costs (i.e. total accident costs) and personal safety risk (i.e. chance or accident for individual motorists).

    Some of our main highways thus have high overall accident costs, but are very safe for the individual, while roads like to Milford Sound are (in comparison) deathtraps.

  3. Geoff says:

    We should have A, B and C roads, like they do in Australia, and the UK, and extend coverage to both state highways and council highways.

  4. jarbury says:

    I reckon this is a request of the trucking industry so that designated freight routes will end up having tonnes of cash poured into them… thanks Minister Friedlan…. sorry, I mean Minister Joyce.

  5. Matthew says:

    “Where is the category for “peak hour single-occupant commuters””

    Perhaps NZTA could move to classifying based on the number of people/ volume/value of goods being moved as opposed to the number of vehicles.

  6. Luke says:

    This sounds suspiciously like another attempt to redirect roading funds to projects that Stephen Joyce/Friedlander wants.
    Will mean the RONS model of disregarding economic benefits will be extended to many more regional roads.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>