Strategic Plan


We know that an efficient and effective transport system is foundational to community and national prosperity.

Our contribution to achieving this outcome is to provide the best possible guidance to help corridor stakeholders make high quality, customer-focused decisions. We function as both a source of information and a hub to inform, connect and influence stakeholders across the sector. Further, we aim to support balanced investment in roading and transport infrastructure with other essential community assets to create resilient, thriving liveable communities.


Our values provide the foundation for our behaviour, decision-making and performance:

Member-focused Our members are to the fore of everything we do. We work hard to anticipate their needs, meet them and provide a high return on their investment.
Innovative Our commitment to providing best possible guidance includes offering creative yet well-researched information to our stakeholders, and making smart use of emerging technologies, systems and processes.
Accessible We do not live in an ivory tower. We share knowledge openly and seek to be highly responsive to stakeholder enquiries.
Reliable We strive for excellence and predictability, providing information, resources and support that members and stakeholders can rely on.
Results-oriented The delivery of measurable, usable outcomes (within agreed time, cost and/or resourcing parameters) is what compels us to action.

Context and opportunity

We aspire to become recognised as a leading provider of relevant guidance to help transport corridorstakeholders make high quality decisions for its customers.

About the RCA Forum

The RCA Forum is a closed, non-political incorporated society of road asset managers and roading professionals from all territorial local authorities (except the Chatham Islands Council), the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The RCAF vision is to assist road-controlling authorities to make informed decisions. The purpose of the RCAF is to exchange information and provide updates on sector working group activities, proposed legislation, new standards and guidelines, highway and procurement strategies and other issues relevant to road controlling authorities and the other member organisations.


The RCAF was established on 15 October 1996 by Transit New Zealand and a group of representatives from the territorial local authorities, the Department of Conservation, Land Transport New Zealand and Local Government New Zealand to address common issues.

In 2004 a working group was established to consider a broader role for RCAF, more consistent with the asset ownership responsibilities of its members, particularly around improved information to assist with asset investment and asset management decisions. A strategic plan (2004 – 2007) was developed and
implemented, and in 2006 the RCAF became an Incorporated Society.

A second strategic plan (2007-2009) built on these developments, and a Strategic Review was completed in 2009. The Rules adopted on incorporation were extensively reviewed in 2012 and new Rules were adopted by the members in 2013.


The RCAF is government by an Executive and includes individual members from the 66 territorial local authorities, the Department of Conservation, Local Government New Zealand and NZ Transport Agency (NZTA). All member organisations pay an annual subscription to fund activities.

The RCAF organises and facilitates three one-day meetings annually. These consist of short presentations, working group reports and activity updates from member organisations.

More than one representative from a member organisation can attend a meeting, but only one representative has voting rights at any special or annual general meeting of the society.

A PESTEL summary is provided in the Appendix

Strategic priorities

The successful achievement of our purpose is dependent on strong sector engagement; the provision of high quality information that is tailored to our stakeholders’ needs; highly-capable people; and, a commitment to find better and more effective ways of doing things in and across the sector. It follows that we should concentrate our resources and efforts in the following priority areas:

  • Engagement: Effective collaboration, communications, networking across the sector.
  • Knowledge: Facilitate highly-valued information.
  • Capability: Support sector capability development.
  • Influence: Advocate for effective engagement, knowledge distribution and effective
  • Innovation: Provide or support effective research where needed to ensure the sector meets
    changing technological and societal demands.

No one priority should necessarily prevail over any other priority. The harmonious pursuit of all priorities is required, if the agreed purpose is to be achieved.

Our strategic horizon is five years, to 30 June 2022.

Strategic framework


We expect to contribute to the development and maintenance of an efficient and effective transport corridor through the provision of best quality guidance to empower high-quality decisions by sector stakeholders. The following measures will be used to measure our progress towards implementing our strategy to achieve this outcome:

Strategic Priority FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Anticipated Annual Contribution $225K $230K $235K $240K $245K

Note: Each Strategic Priority has associated “imperative actions”. It is anticipated that the majority, if not all, actions will be executed for each year of activity.

Imperative actions

Imperative actions are the significant tasks and projects that must be completed if strategic priorities are to be achieved. They inform our annual plans and budgets.

Sector engagement (Portfolio Lead – Tom Simonson)

To provide a venue and resource to share information and knowledge, debate ideas and proposals, and learn from each other. A Forum that is trusted for effective communications, collaboration and networking using multiple channels is crucial to support the Forum’s purpose

Imperative action FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Member research to understand RCA effectiveness and reputation, and emerging issues and sector priorities X X X
Review effectiveness of on-line channels (website, socialmedia, other) & refine as necessary X X X
Ongoing programme of RCA Forum events to share knowledge, network and debate proposals X X X X X
‘Attendance drive’ to broaden all sector participation X X

Highly-valued knowledge facilitator (Portfolio Lead – Tom Simonson, Supporting lead – Suzanne Madsen)
An up to date body of knowledge that is both well-researched and readily accessible is crucial to inform high-quality decisions within the sector. The RCA Forum will facilitate access to this information

Imperative action FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Sustain RCA Forum website to ensure accurate and current information X X
Utilise various communication channel performance measures to inform strong sector engagement. X X X
Plan participation with LG and CG for alignment in knowledge sharing X X X
Support dissemination of timely and relevant information to members. X X X X X
Road Rail Working Group X X X X X
Imperative action FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Develop and implement a proactive programme to influence policy development (central & local government) X X X X X
Develop and implement a proactive programme to influence private industry engagement, support and delivery. X
Establish  formal mechanism to respond to invitations to comment on policy proposals X
Engagement programme with top-level central government officials and acknowledged industry experts (speaking assignments, briefings, et cetera X X X X X
Create and support a programme tocoordinate with other advocacy groups X X

Champion sector capability (Portfolio Lead – Alec Louverdis, Supporting lead – Warren Furner)
The successful pursuit of an efficient and effective transport corridor—our reason for being—is dependent on a sufficiency of capability within the sector, to make informed strategic decisions and implement them. We intend to implement a multi-nodal framework involving meetings, training sessions using in-person and on-line channels. The objective is to fully understand our member’s insights in contrast to network performance to identify and address capability gaps.

Imperative action FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Commission research to understand and prioritise capability needs and their ability to meeting challenges. X X X
Create a prioritised capability development programme to instil knowledge X X X
Review purpose and structure of RCA Forum meetings, to ensure strong focus on knowledge sharing and learning X X
Develop and implement programme of training and capability development events X X X X X
Active Modes Infrastructure Working Group X X X X X

Influence (Portfolio Lead – Duminda Wijayasinghe, Supporting leads – Dave Jane and Helen Chapman)
We intend to engage with appropriate central and local government agencies and stakeholders to advocate for effective policies to assist members in executing their roles.

Innovation (Portfolio Lead – Jim Paterson, Supporting lead – Jim Harland)
The RCA Forum will continue to undertake research within budget and staff capability boundaries. We will also work with other organisations operating in or associated with the sector that are undertaking research including NZTA, MoT, universities and membership organisations. Research will be made where it is a priority to the majority of members, and no other body is working or attempting to work in a timely fashion. To commission research that is relevant to our stakeholders. Outputs will be shared.

Imperative action FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Market survey and gap analysis for research subjects. X X X X X
Hone research groups down to be nimble and responsive to the most current/pressing issues and to respond in a timely manner for needed information. X
Focus on potential future sector changes and challenges in corridors X X X X X
Identifying examples of new ways of solving problems, undertaking support trials where appropriate X X X X X
Low Volume Roads Working Group X X X X X

Background information

PESTEL assessment
This PESTEL2 assessment summarises factors that could influence or have an impact on the Forum’s activities (positive or negative).


  • Changing political priorities
  • Decision-making fraught
  • Integration and coherence
  • Silo-thinking
  • Policy–operation boundary ‘tensions’


  • Three-year investment cycle
  • Funding resilience
  • Long-term funding priorities unclear
  • Transport as an enabler of economic development?
  • Reporting expectations ≠ delivery cycle


  • Changing demands / usage of transport network
  • Concentration of population (urban centres)
  • Mixed usage & equity
  • Demographic changes
  • Rural–urban split
  • Social resistance to change?
  • Shared usage of vehicles
  • Transport as a utility (cf. personal asset)
  • ‘Language’ and ‘jargon’
  • Social license to operate
  • Skills/resource shortage


  • Scope unclear (what is ‘road’ & ‘transport’?)
  • EVs and cycling
  • Renewables increasing
  • Impact of emerging technologies on usage
  • Rate of change of tech / speed to market
  • Cybersecurity
  • Automation
  • Life span of [road] asset


  • Impact of climate change
  • Changing land use
  • Water quality / environmental impact
  • Under-, on- and above-surface expectations
  • Wastage


  • Compliance / legal requirements
  • Health and safety demands
  • Insurance response
  • ‘Boundaries’ (road, edge, not-road)
  • Liability challenges
  • Standards and risk
  • Disjointed decision-making frameworks
  • Complexity of legislative framework