Land Transport Act 1998

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Reprint as at 10 September 2012

Land Transport Act 1998

Public Act1998 No 110
Date of assent8 December 1998
Commencementsee section 1(2), (3), (5)


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Transport.



1 Short Title and commencement

Part 1
Preliminary provisions

2 Interpretation

3 Act to bind the Crown

Part 2
Primary responsibilities of participants in land transport system

General responsibilities

4 General requirements for participants in land transport system

5 Drivers to be licensed

6 Vehicles to be safe and operated in compliance with rules

7 Drivers not to be reckless or dangerous

8 Drivers not to be careless or inconsiderate

9 Loads transported by vehicles to be secured

Responsibilities of road users under ordinary and emergency rules

10 Road users and others to comply with ordinary rules and emergency rules

Responsibilities concerning use of alcohol or drugs

11 Drivers not to exceed specified alcohol limits

11A Persons may not drive or attempt to drive while impaired and their blood contains evidence of use of qualifying drug

12 Persons not to drive while under influence of alcohol or drugs

Responsibilities of drivers and other road users concerning enforcement officers

13 Drivers and other road users to comply with directions of enforcement officers, etc

Part 3
Additional responsibilities concerning road transport

14 False or misleading information not to be given

15 Persons not to impersonate enforcement officers

16 Heavy motor vehicles not to be overloaded

16A Restriction of heavy traffic on roads

16B Interference with operation of speed measuring devices

17 Distance recorders not to be altered

18 Doctors and optometrists to give Agency medical reports of persons unfit to drive

19 Licences of certain persons subject to Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 to be suspended

20 Traffic surveys not to be conducted unless approved by Agency

21 Enforcement officers to ameliorate hazards

22 Driver's duties where accident occurs

22A Persons not to engage in unauthorised street or drag racing, or other related prohibited activities on roads


22AB Road controlling authorities may make certain bylaws

22AC Minister may amend, replace, or disallow bylaws

22AD Consultation

22AE Publication and proof of bylaws

22AF Warning notices

Traction engine safety

22B Operators of traction engines to hold appropriate current qualification

22C Traction engine to be safe and operated in compliance with regulations and rules

Part 4
Driver licensing

23 Issue of driver licences

24 Agency may issue temporary driver licences

24A Authorised persons may request driver licences for certain persons

25 Minimum age for driver licensing

26 Drivers may be tested and examined

27 Suspension and revocation of licences

28 Photographic driver licence

28A Transitional provisions for photographic driver licences

29 Certain driver licences have no effect

29A Persons convicted of specified serious offences prohibited from holding passenger endorsement

29B Passenger endorsement may be reinstated in certain cases

30 Driver licences are property of Agency and are to be surrendered in certain circumstances

Part 4A
Transport services licensing

Subpart 1Primary responsibilities of holders of transport service licences

30A Requirements for vehicles

30B Provision of identification information in Braille

Subpart 2Fit and proper person test

Assessment criteria

30C General safety criteria

30D Additional criteria for small passenger service vehicles and vehicle recovery service

30E Additional criteria for large passenger service vehicles

30F Additional criteria for goods service

Information requirements

30G Agency may require information for fit and proper person assessment

30H Agency’s duties concerning prejudicial information

30I Non-disclosure by Agency of information for safety reasons

Subpart 3Licensing of transport services

30J Transport service operators may not carry on certain transport services unless licensed to do so

30K Application for transport service licence

30L Grant of licence

30M Conditions of transport service licences

30N Transfer, assignment, or lease of transport service licence prohibited

30O Term of transport service licence

30P Agency may grant applications for approved taxi organisations

30Q Circumstances in which Agency must grant applications for approved taxi organisations

30R Agency may revoke approval

Subpart 4Revocation of transport service licences

30S When Agency may revoke transport service licence

30T Procedure Agency must follow before revoking transport service licence

30U Suspension of transport service licence

Subpart 5Adverse decisions

30V Interpretation

30W Agency to notify proposal to make adverse decision

30X Procedure for consideration of information

30Y Agency’s determination

Part 4B
Work time and logbooks

30Z Application of Part

30ZA Agency may grant exemptions or approve alternative fatigue management schemes

Subpart 1Work time

30ZB Application of subpart

30ZC Limits on work time

30ZD Records must be kept

Subpart 2Logbooks

30ZE Application of subpart

30ZF Drivers must maintain logbooks

30ZG Agency may approve or revoke alternative means of recording matters

30ZH Duties regarding logbooks

Subpart 3Evidence in proceedings

30ZI Evidence in proceedings for offences against subpart 1 or subpart 2

Part 5
Offences relating to driving (other than alcohol-related offences) and penalties

Offences relating to driver licensing

31 Contravention of sections 5(1)(a), 5(1)(b), 5(4), 30(2), 30(3), or 30(4A)

32 Contravention of section 5(1)(c)

33 Contravention of section 5(2) or (3)

33A Offence to operate as driving instructor without authorisation

Offences relating to driving (other than offences involving alcohol)

34 Contravention of section 6

35 Contravention of section 7, or section 22 where no injury or death involved

36 Contravention of section 7 or section 22 involving injury

36AA Contravention of section 7 by causing death of another person

36A Contravention of section 22A

36AB Contravention of sections 7 and 114

36B Contravention of section 22B or section 22C

37 Contravention of section 8

38 Contravention of section 8 causing injury or death

39 Aggravated careless use of vehicle causing injury or death

Offences relating to rules

40 Contravention of ordinary rules

41 Contravention of emergency rules

Loading offences

42 Failure to secure load

43 Overloading offences

43A Courts may impose appropriate fines for infringement offences that are not overloading offences

Other offences

44 Contravention of section 14

45 Contravention of section 17

46 Contravention of section 20

47 Contravention of section 22(2), (3), (4), or (5)

48 Contravention of section 92(4)

49 Contravention of section 97(5) or (6)

50 Contravention of section 117(2)

51 Contravention of section 198(4)

52 Contravening notices, requirements, etc, given or imposed by enforcement officers

53 Obstruction of enforcement officer or dangerous goods enforcement officer

54 Personation of enforcement officer

55 Tampering with vehicle surveillance equipment

55A Offences concerning alcohol interlock devices

Part 6
Driving offences involving drink or drugs, and penalties and procedures

Offences and penalties

56 Contravention of specified breath or blood-alcohol limit

57 Contravention of specified breath or blood-alcohol limit by person younger than 20

57AA Contravention of specified breath or blood alcohol limit by holder of alcohol interlock licence or zero alcohol licence

57A Driving while impaired and with blood that contains evidence of use of qualifying drug

58 Contravention of section 12

59 Failure or refusal to remain at specified place or to accompany enforcement officer

60 Failure or refusal to permit blood specimen to be taken or to undergo compulsory impairment test

61 Person in charge of motor vehicle causing injury or death

62 Causing injury or death in circumstances to which section 61 does not apply

63 Further penalty in certain cases where person driving vehicle used in transport service


64 Defences

Repeat offences and certain first time offences

65 Mandatory penalties for repeat offences involving use of alcohol or drugs

65A Alcohol interlock requirements for repeat offences or certain first time offences involving use of alcohol

65B Mandatory zero alcohol requirements for repeat offences involving use of alcohol

Name suppression


66 Names of drivers convicted of alcohol or drug-related offences may not be suppressed [Repealed]

Blood test fee

67 Blood test fee

Enforcement procedures for offences involving intoxication

68 Who must undergo breath screening test

69 Who must undergo evidential breath test

70 Person may be required to undergo further evidential breath test if initial test fails to produce result

70A Right to elect blood test

71 Meaning of apparently younger than 20

71A Requirement to undergo compulsory impairment test

72 Who must give blood specimen at places other than hospital or surgery

73 Who must give blood specimen in hospital or surgery

73A Evidence of controlled drug in blood sample taken under section 72 or 73 may not be used as evidence of use of controlled drugs in prosecutions under Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

74 Procedure for dealing with blood specimens

Evidential provisions

75 Certificates in blood-alcohol proceedings

75A Certificates of compliance for evidential breath-testing devices

76 Presumptions relating to blood specimens

77 Presumptions relating to alcohol-testing

78 Presumptions as to age of driver

79 Circumstances in which certificate not admissible in proceedings

Part 6A
Offences relating to transport services and penalties

79A Offence to carry on transport service without licence

79B Provision of incorrect information

79C Failure to present vehicle for inspection

79D Contravention of section 30K

79E Liability of persons who use unlicensed transport service

79F Contravention of section 30M

79G Contravention of section 87G

79H Contravention of section 128A

79I Contravention of section 128B

79J Liability of employers and principal

79K Liability of directors of bodies corporate

79L Court may require convicted transport service licence holder to sit examination

79M Penalties for failure to pay passenger service fares

Part 6B
Offences relating to work time and logbooks

Subpart 1Work time

79N Failure to keep or produce records or comply with conditions of exemption or approval

79O Failure to comply with prescribed work time restrictions or rest time requirements

79P Defences to work time offences

79PA Matters to be taken into account in imposing penalty for offence against section 79O

Subpart 2Logbooks

79Q Failure to discharge duties regarding logbooks

79R Offences and proceedings concerning logbooks

79S Defences to logbook offences

Part 6C
Offences relating to chain of responsibility

79T Offence to cause or require driver to breach speed limits, maximum work time, or rest time requirements

79U Offence to cause or require driver to breach maximum gross weight limits

79V Search warrants in relation to offences against section 79T or 79U

Part 7
Disqualification, demerit points, licence suspension, and vehicle impoundment


80 General penalty of disqualification may be imposed if offence involves road safety

81 Provisions relating to mandatory disqualification

82 Effect of disqualification

82A Application for reinstatement if suspended for any period (other than under section 95), or disqualified for period not exceeding 12 months

82B Transitional provision concerning application of section 82A

82C Application for reinstatement following expiry of alcohol interlock licence or zero alcohol licence

83 Holder to undergo approved tests or courses if disqualified for more than 1 year

84 New licence to be issued if disqualified driver qualifies for specified vehicle classes

85 When disqualification starts

86 Term of disqualification if person already disqualified

87 Particulars of certain court orders to be sent to Agency and offender

Disqualification of transport service driver and other persons

87A Disqualification of transport service driver

87B Disqualification of holder of transport service licence from holding transport service licence

87C Procedure for disqualifying person under section 87A or section 87B

Suspension of transport service driver and other persons

87D Immediate suspension of transport service driver and other persons in interests of public safety

87E Procedure for suspending persons under section 87D

87F Term of suspension

Effect of disqualification or suspension of transport service driver and other persons

87G Effect of disqualification or suspension of transport service driver and other persons

Demerit points system

88 Demerit points to be recorded by Agency

89 Notice of demerit points

90 Suspension of licence or disqualification from driving under demerit points system

91 Cancellation and reinstatement of demerit points

Other penalties

92 Compulsory attendance at driving improvement course or dangerous goods course

93 Court may order compulsory driving test

94 Substitution of community-based sentences

Mandatory suspension of driver licence

95 Mandatory 28-day suspension of driver licence in certain circumstances

95A Extension of 28-day suspension period of driver licence under section 95

Impoundment of vehicles

96 Vehicle seized and impounded for 28 days in certain circumstances

96A Impoundment of vehicle used in transport service

97 Storage of impounded vehicles

98 Release of vehicle after 28 days

Prohibiting sale or disposal of motor vehicles

98A Commissioner may prohibit sale or disposal of certain motor vehicles

98B Appeal of notice to District Court

Part 8
Mitigation of penalties and rights of appeal

Removal of disqualifications

99 Court may reduce disqualification

99A Agency may approve programmes

100 Agency to remove certain disqualifications

100A Agency to remove alcohol interlock requirements

Removal of licence suspension and return of impounded vehicles

101 Appeal to Agency against mandatory suspension of driver licence

102 Appeal to Police against impoundment of vehicle

Grant of limited licence

103 Persons who may apply to court for limited licence

104 Issue of limited licence to be delayed or prohibited in certain cases

105 Court may make order authorising grant of limited licence

Rights of appeal

106 General right of appeal to District Court

107 Appeals against court orders relating to disqualification or grant of limited licence, and deferral of disqualification

108 Appeal against Agency’s refusal to remove disqualification

109 Appeal against refusal of Agency to remove suspension of driver licence

110 Appeal against refusal of Police to direct release of impounded vehicle

111 Procedure

111A Appeal to High Court on question of law

111B Further appeal to Court of Appeal

Demerit points

112 Effect of appeal on demerit points

Part 9
Enforcement of responsibilities

General enforcement powers

113 Enforcement officers may enforce transport legislation

113A Power to inspect records

114 Power to require driver to stop and give name and address, etc

115 Enforcement officers may give directions prohibiting driving of vehicles

116 Enforcement of directions

117 Moved vehicle not to be damaged and to be returned to person entitled to possession

118 Owner or hirer or licence holder to give information as to identity of driver or passenger

Powers of entry, arrest, immobilisation, and impoundment

119 Powers of entry

120 Arrest of persons for alcohol or drug-related offences, or assault on enforcement officer

121 Enforcement officer may immobilise vehicle, etc, in specified circumstances

121A Enforcement officer may give directions or immobilise vehicle if driver breaches certain licence conditions

122 Enforcement officer may seize and impound vehicle for up to 12 hours in emergency

123 Enforcement officer may seize and impound vehicle for up to 7 days where serious accident or hit and run offence or for failure to stop

Enforcement powers for offences involving certain vehicles

124 Inspection of vehicles required to have evidence of vehicle inspection and certificate of loading

125 Stopping, inspection, and weighing of heavy vehicles and certain transport service vehicles

126 Off-loading of overweight vehicle

127 Protection against claims resulting from action under section 125 or section 126

128 Enforcement officer to order heavy vehicle to stop until load secured

128A Enforcement officer's powers in respect of non-complying small passenger service vehicles

128B Enforcement officer's powers in respect of non-complying vehicle recovery service vehicles

128C Enforcement officer's powers in respect of certain motor vehicles subject to service inspection and certification requirements

128D Appointment of parking wardens

128E Powers of parking wardens

Dangerous goods

129 Vehicles may be inspected and directed to remain stopped for contravening dangerous goods rules

130 Power to inspect railway lines

131 Power to inspect premises used for loading and unloading of dangerous goods

132 Inspection powers concerning dangerous goods

Part 10
Proceedings enforcing responsibilities

133 Owner liability for moving vehicle offences and special vehicle lane offences

133A Owner liability for stationary vehicle offences

134 Strict liability for offences involving insecure loads and loads falling from vehicles

Commencement of proceedings

135 Offences punishable summarily

136 Time for instituting proceedings

Certain matters not defences

137 Compliance with speed limit and certain other matters not to be defences

Infringement offences

138 Infringement offences

139 Issue of infringement notice

139A Towage fees if parking offences prosecuted

140 Contents of infringement and reminder notices

141 Provisions relating to infringement fees


142 Evidence of driver history relating to infringement fees

143 Evidence of driver licence

144 Evidence in certain proceedings

145 Evidence of approved vehicle surveillance equipment

145A Evidence and proof

146 Evidence of testing and accuracy of speed-measuring devices, etc

147 Evidence of accuracy of weighing devices and sites

148 Presumptions relating to axle weights and dangerous goods

149 Admissibility of certain statements by drivers of certain vehicles

150 Evidence of certain documents

151 Evidence of rules

Part 11
Land transport subordinate legislation

152 Power of Minister to make ordinary rules

152A Governor-General may make ordinary rules

153 Rules concerning road user behaviour

154 Rules concerning driver licensing

155 Rules concerning vehicles

156 Rules concerning dangerous goods

157 Rules concerning roads

158 Rules concerning licensing, standard-setting, etc

159 Rules concerning land transport documents

160 Other provisions concerning ordinary rules

161 Procedure concerning ordinary rules

Emergency rules

162 Agency may make emergency rules

163 Procedure for making emergency rules

General provisions concerning making of rules

164 Matters to have regard to when making or recommending rules

165 Incorporation by reference

166 Agency may grant exemptions


167 Regulations

168 Regulations relating to fees and charges for land transport

168A Agency may declare that vehicle is mobility device or is not motor vehicle

168B Order in Council for certain land transport revenue [Repealed]

168C Piloting fees

Part 12
The Crown and land transport

169 Objectives of Minister

169A Functions of Minister

Part 13
Land transport strategies


National land transport strategy

170 National land transport strategy [Repealed]

171 Procedure for completing national land transport strategy [Repealed]

172 Currency of national land transport strategy [Repealed]

173 Amendment or revocation of national land transport strategy [Repealed]

174 Effect of national land transport strategy [Repealed]

Regional land transport strategies

175 Regional land transport strategies [Repealed]

176 Currency of regional land transport strategies [Repealed]

177 Copies of regional land transport strategy to be made available to certain persons [Repealed]

178 Regional land transport committees [Repealed]

179 Consultation requirements for preparation of regional land transport strategies [Repealed]

180 Regional councils to consider contracting out functions under this Act [Repealed]

181 Effect of regional land transport strategies [Repealed]

182 Annual reports on regional land transport strategy [Repealed]

183 Certain territorial authorities to prepare land transport strategy [Repealed]

Part 14
Administrative provisions

184 Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand continued [Repealed]

185 Authority to be Crown entity [Repealed]

186 Director of Land Transport [Repealed]

187 Acting Director [Repealed]

188 Use of words Land Transport Safety Authority [Repealed]

Role of Land Transport Safety Authority and Director


189 Principal objective of Authority [Repealed]

190 Functions of Authority [Repealed]

191 Authority to comply with policy directions [Repealed]

192 Performance agreement [Repealed]

193 Minister may determine content of agreement or amendment [Repealed]

194 Amendment of agreement [Repealed]

195 Service charter [Repealed]

Powers and additional functions of Authority and Director


196 Authority to have powers of natural person [Repealed]

197 Functions and powers of Director [Repealed]

198 Inspections and audits

199 Agency to maintain register of driver licences

199A Register of transport service licences

200 Restrictions on access to photographic images of driver licence holders

Use of outside agencies in performance of functions


201 Authority to consider delegating or contracting out of functions and powers [Repealed]

202 Authority may arrange for services to be provided by outside agencies [Repealed]


203 Authority may delegate functions or powers to employees [Repealed]

204 Director may delegate functions or powers to employees of Authority [Repealed]

205 Director may delegate functions or powers to persons outside Authority [Repealed]

206 General provisions concerning delegations under sections 204 and 205 [Repealed]

207 Delegation of Minister's functions or powers to Agency

Part 15
Miscellaneous provisions

208 Appointment of enforcement officers and dangerous goods enforcement officers

209 Taking of blood specimens for statistical or research purposes

209AA Expiry and repeal of section 209(2A) to (2C)

209A Analysing blood specimens for statistical or research purposes related to use of drugs or alcohol

210 Service of notices

211 Commissioner to provide traffic accident reports

211A Payment of fees

212 Agency to pay sum to assessment centres

213 Customs control over imported vehicles

213A Public right of way at level crossings

Part 16
Repeals, amendments to other enactments, and transitional and savings provisions

214 Repeals

215 Amendments to other enactments

216 Transitional regulations

217 Expiry of section 216 [Repealed]

218 Regulations and other enactments having effect under this Act

219 Expiry of section 218 [Repealed]

220 Rules having effect under this Act

221 Appointments

222 Saving of certain land transport documents

223 Transfer provisions for certain employees of Agency

224 Saving of certain notices issued by enforcement officers

224A Saving of certain directions given by parking wardens

224B Savings of bylaws made under certain Acts

225 Savings relating to court orders, proceedings, etc

226 Saving of notices suspending driver licences

227 Saving of demerit points

228 Saving of certain applications under Transport Act 1962

229 Savings relating to rules and land transport strategies

230 Savings relating to functions of Agency

231 Savings relating to blood specimens taken under Transport Act 1962

232 Savings relating to blood specimens taken under this Act and posted in accordance with Transport Act 1962

Part 17
Motor vehicle registration and licensing

Preliminary provisions

233 Interpretation matters applying to this Part

Register of motor vehicles

234 Register of motor vehicles

235 Purposes of register

236 Application for information from register

237 Entitlement to receive information

238 Registrar may confirm or deny match of information

239 Further restrictions

240 Complaints procedure

241 Authorised access to name and address only

Registration and licensing requirements

242 Motor vehicles must be registered and licensed

243 Application for registration

244 Application for, and issuing of, licence

245 Commencement of licence

246 Change of use of motor vehicle

Change of registered person on sale or other disposition

247 Obligations of sellers and acquirers of motor vehicles

248 Prohibition against use of motor vehicle

249 Circumstances when motor vehicle may be seized and impounded

250 Personal property

251 Storage of impounded motor vehicles

252 Release of motor vehicle

253 Disposal of motor vehicle

254 Impounded motor vehicle not to be damaged

Cancellation of registration

255 Cancellation of registration

256 Discretion to refund fees

Registration plates

257 Issue of plates and certificates of registration

258 Supplementary plates

259 Contract to dispose of rights to personalised plates

260 Acquisition and disposal of personalised plates

261 Eligibility for trade plates

262 Application for trade plates

263 Transitional provision for existing registration plates

General provisions relating to registration and licensing

264 Replacement of certificate of registration, licence, or registration plates

265 Surrender and seizure of registration plates and facsimile plates

266 Registrar may prohibit or decline to issue plates

267 Appeal to District Court

Offences and penalties

268 Infringement offences


269 Regulations

270 Fees and charges identified as land transport revenue


271 Appointment of Registrar

Delegations and authorisations

272 Delegations

273 Authorisations by Registrar

Fees and charges

274 Land transport revenue to be paid into national land transport fund

275 Other prescribed fees received under this Part

Schedule 1
Provisions concerning Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand


Schedule 2
Enactments repealed

Schedule 3
Enactments amended

Schedule 4
New Parts 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 substituted in Schedule 2 of Transport Act 1962

Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009

Reprint notes

An Act—

  • (a) to promote safe road user behaviour and vehicle safety; and

  • (b) to provide for a system of rules governing road user behaviour, the licensing of drivers, and technical aspects of land transport, and to recognise reciprocal obligations of persons involved; and

  • (c) to consolidate and amend various enactments relating to road safety and land transport; and

  • (d) to enable New Zealand to implement international agreements relating to road safety and land transport