The NZHTS is a series of travel surveys designed to provide a databank of personal travel information for New Zealand. It is part of a continuous survey that began in 2003 and is designed to be useful in enabling identification of long-term travel trends. This databank will continue to be an important source of information to influence government policies and monitor transport and safety performances. The Ministry of Transport (MoT 2007) states ‘the aim of this survey is to increase our understanding of travel behaviour by people in New Zealand, including travel by car as a driver or passenger, walking and cycling’.
The current travel survey differs from the previous one-off surveys conducted in 1989/90 and again in 1997/98 in that the survey is now continuous rather than discrete. Discrete surveys are not as reliable in developing valid estimations of changes in accident risks and travel patterns occurring over time. The continuous survey ensures the availability of up-to-date travel data to formulate new transport and road safety policies.