Local Government Magazine

Unlocking the value of land transport data

Currently, transport asset data is unstructured, fragmented and not easily integrated and shared. Waka Kotahi, with the transport sector, has designed the first New Zealand Transport Asset Management Data Standard to improve land transport asset information and support better decision making, leveraging multiple benefits from the significant investments in road infrastructure. Article supplied by Waka Kotahi.

The design of the Standard is system neutral, flexible, and scalable. It is consistent with the latest international and New Zealand data Standards and practices across all types of infrastructure, including water.

Waka Kotahi is starting to roll out the new Asset Management Data Standard (AMDS); a small piece of a much larger programme of ongoing work to improve data quality and ultimately save millions of dollars.

Within 12 months, the first group of the 68 Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) will be using the latest Standard release to better manage and plan the development of their roading infrastructure, from drains and culverts to bridges and footpaths.

Masterton District Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, and Hutt City Council are the early adopters of the Standard, enabling them to share information and better manage their assets. The remaining councils and Waka Kotahi will implement the Standard in tranches over the next five years.

“We are currently working with the Waka Kotahi AMDS programme team to plan our implementation and intend to adopt AMDS early 2023,” says Patrick Hanaray from the Upper Hutt City Council.

“Adopting early supports improvements to our asset management processes. It provides a foundation to build on and creates opportunities for sharing information across the Wellington region”.

Asset Management Data Standard development

The first release of the Standard is now available, including inventory, maintenance, and Faults and conditions.

The Standard continues to be developed, with phases two and three being released in the coming months. These include supporting the complete asset management lifecycle enabling monitoring of trends, impacts, service performance, or asset condition. Targeting the right intervention at the right time. It will result in a better understanding of when and why maintenance renewal and improvement activities are needed, what different roadworks can achieve and cost, and how they should be designed and scoped to address all service defects and outcomes together for the least disruption.

AMDS will also support current and future multimodal networks and reflect the planning and design activities around that for asset management.

“The network model is the backbone to the AMDS and fundamental to the planning, management, analysis and reporting of land transport assets now and into the future. In simple terms,” says Elke Beca from WSP.

“It’s a map of interconnected lines showing where transport users can go regardless of their mode of travel,  such as walking, cycling, micro-mobility, public transport, vehicle, freight, ferry, and rail. It also shows us the restrictions they will encounter along the way like one-way roads, stairs, or road closures.

“Essentially, the network model represents the beginning of a virtual digital twin, allowing for analytical understanding and studies on how outages, planned maintenance, and unscheduled events impact the network in terms of modes, routes, and asset desert identification. This approach represents a huge step in our digital journey, opening the door to a vastly improved understanding of our transport system, its performance, limitations, and opportunities.”

 Developed by the sector for the sector

Waka Kotahi works in partnership with the sector and the dedicated AMDS RCA and Supplier groups. The approach has provided a direct channel for sector organisations to provide feedback on the development and design of the Standard and implementation approach, resulting in the Standard and implementation being fit for purpose across the transport sector.

“For QLDC to be able to provide input and influence the AMDS project, this has been fundamental to getting the buy-in from Local Government,” says Alison Tomlinson from Queenstown Lakes District Council.

“Knowing that the Standard has been through robust discussions with a group of varied RCAs, from Auckland Transport to smaller rural environments like Waipa District Council, provides assurance that the Standard will be fit for purpose and supports our needs.

“The sector conversations have also helped build connections between different RCAs, providing a good base to share our pains and joys as we transition to implementation.  This is an exciting step forward in our journey to realise the potential of the digital twin world.”

Providing the building block for a digital future

AMDS supports Waka Kotahi Transport Services’ vision of being fully digital from business case to operations within five years.

Andrew Field from Waka Kotahi says; “We are excited by the opportunities created by the AMDS to begin projects with the end-use of information in mind.

“Coupling digital engineering practices with the AMDS means we can take a consistent and coordinated approach to the design, delivery, maintenance, and renewal of the transport system.”

The outcome of the vision includes drawing on structured data inputs to deliver a transport system, where the data we create and manage will support efficient planning, strong coordination, predictive maintenance, and effective decision-making.  Enabling a consistent and coordinated approach to the Transport system’s design, delivery, maintenance, and renewal processes, allowing data to gain value at each phase of the service lifecycle.

Because the data Standard captures spatial data, it enables the ready use of spatial analytics across all New Zealand’s transport networks once implemented and populated. More rapid advances in analytics tools in the Transport sector will lead to better modelling, richer scenario testing, and forecasting to support more focused targeting of activities to improve customer service.

Why the Asset Management Data Standard matters

Local government organisations will benefit from national benchmarking and analysis of best practices for forward works planning, materials, treatment, renewals approaches, and timing. They will be able to create a stronger evidence base for funding bids and realise more value from investment decisions.

This will result in improved efficiencies within local road infrastructure projects, including avoided variations and reduced whole-of-life asset costs, due to improved planning and coordination.


AMDS provides a common language and data structure that defines and describes assets, their attributes, characteristics, properties, location, and performance – all the information needed to perform efficient and effective end-to-end asset management.

The Standard will provide better outcomes for local and central government across transport and wider infrastructure sectors, providing a foundation to better plan for maintenance and replacement of roading assets and prioritise projects for funding based on value-for-money and evidence-based benefits.

The first release of the Standard is now available and will be managed and updated as a living Standard by Waka Kotahi and the sector. We invite you to have a look and contribute your feedback: www.nzta.govt.nz/amds

Related posts

One chance to influence the MDRS

LG web

Local government executives and recruitment

LG web

Council planning challenge

LG web