The purpose of this phase is to conduct initial assessment and scoping of a transport issue or problem and:

  • to identify if there is a case for possible legislative intervention, and if so,
  • to identify potential interventions and related impacts and risks.  

This process starts when an identified issue is prioritised, and the relevant policy manager gives approval to start assessment work. 

Issues are collected or raised, monitored and filtered during business-as-usual activity of the Ministry and transport agencies, from a range of sources, including:

  • Incidents/events
  • Industry-driven initiatives
  • Accident investigation findings
  • International convention requirements
  • International developments
  • Technological advances
  • Political imperatives
  • Ministerial directive
  • Consultation feedback (on other issues)
  • Ongoing review, evaluation and maintenance of Rules stock.



Inputs to this process are:

  • Information collected about the issue, as part of day-to-day monitoring, or previous assessments
  • Ministerial directives
  • Details of any wider policy initiatives that may impact on the issue
  • Specific comments/requests for intervention
  • Existing legislation.



The outcome of this process is confirmation that an issue either:

  • Does not require new legislative intervention because:
    • there is no case
    • existing legislation can be used, or
    • a non-legislative intervention is appropriate.

  • Is shown to have a case for potential legislative intervention, a PIRA has been developed, and the issue is flagged for the Transport Rules Programme. This issue will then, depending on scale and significance, either:

    • have policy investigation – see Phase 2: Policy investigation
    • go to rule development – see Phase 3: Rule development and consultation.


Roles and responsibilities

Roles involved in this process, and responsibilities, are:

Organisation/ Role


Lead Organisation


  • Undertake issue and risk assessment to determine if there is case for a potential intervention to address an identified issue
  • Identify potential interventions, risk and impacts
  • Prepare a draft PIRA.


  • Quality assure the draft PIRA
  • Liaise with Treasury regarding their level of involvement
  • Input to the issue and risk assessment, as required, if not the lead organisation
  • Provide a briefing and recommendation to the Minister, if required


Input to the issue and risk assessment as required, if not the lead organisation


Determine their level of engagement for the policy investigation phase, based on the PIRA,

Legal Adviser

Provide advice on existing legislative tools that may be available and potential legislative interventions (including whether performance based or prescriptive).