Incorporating distributional impacts (equity) into the CBA framework

Transportation decisions can have large and varied impacts on travellers and their communities. It’s important to measure these effects and consider their impact on various groups when planning projects.

Waka Kotahi uses a framework to decide which transport projects and programmes to pursue. The economic business case must contain a cost–benefit analysis (CBA). CBAs assess the economics of a proposal by valuing (monetising) the costs and benefits to all members of society. However, CBAs sum across a wide range of people and don’t calculate inequities between groups or individuals, or who ultimately benefits from the project.

Transport equity discussions focus on social justice. Equity impact analysis helps policymakers to make good decisions for a wide range of people. Distributional impact analysis needs to be complemented with wider investment and planning considerations. This includes any comprehensive policy framework that accounts for the overlapping effects of transport, housing and taxing policies.

Cite this article

Torshizian, E., Byett, A., Isack, E., Fehling, A., & Maralani M. (2022). Incorporating distributional impacts in the cost–benefit appraisal framework (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency research report 700).

Review of Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessments

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) appointed Principal Economics to review the Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessments HBAs). Our review included all councils’ HBAs, except for Rotorua and Wellington, which were not available at the time of this review. The focus of our review was on the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD 2020). The outcome of our review indicates the areas of improvement for the next round of HBAs both for the councils and for the MfE and HUD (the ministries).

Reviews that have been published online can be found below: