From 25 April 2020 until August 2020, the Ministry is running a substitute/parallel travel survey (the COVID-19 travel survey), to find out how people's travel is changed/affected by the response to COVID-19. This will help us to better understand the impacts and how we can help you. Please see below for more information.

Please note that from 23 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, the Ministry paused face to face surveying for the household travel survey due to the COVID-19 risk. 

The New Zealand Household Travel Survey

The New Zealand Household Travel Survey is an ongoing survey of household travel conducted for the Ministry of Transport.

What is it?

The Household Travel Survey captures information about:

  • where we go
  • when we travel
  • how we travel
  • purpose of journey.

The results give us a picture of the actual travel patterns of New Zealanders.

The survey is relied upon to provide information that is vital for developing road safety, roading, public transport, pedestrian and cycling policies.

Participation is fun, interesting and worthwhile.

Who takes part?

Every year over 1,900 households are invited to take part. Addresses are selected at random.

This means the survey fairly represents all New Zealanders. The more people that take part, the better the survey will represent all New Zealanders.

Who carries it out?

The Ministry of Transport contracts CBG Public Sector Surveying to carry out the survey on its behalf. All interviewers carry official identification cards.

Why should my household take part?

The survey findings are used to understand crash risk and improve:

  • roads
  • cycleways
  • pedestrian networks
  • public transport systems.

Your contribution will benefit your local community as well as New Zealand as a whole.

How is it completed?

An interviewer will provide your housheold with a survey kit. The kit contains Travel Loggers for each person (15 years and over). 

The Travel Loggers record travel completed on any given day using GPS technology. If you would prefer not to use a Travel Logger, there is the option to record your daily trips in a paper travel diary instead.

Between October 2015 and June 2018, households were assigned 7 travel days. At the end of each day, the traveller could verify their journeys online, or if preferred, complete this over the phone with CBG. Additional travel information was also collected, such as the purpose of the journey and what type of transport was used.

From July 2018, each household is assigned two travel days and on completion of the two days an interviewer returns to collect the Travel Loggers. They will also ask you some questions about the travel you have completed over the two days.

Is my privacy protected?

Your information will always be kept confidential and is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. No identifiable information is connected to the answers you give. Everyone's answers will be grouped to report on the survey results.

I don’t go anywhere much – are you still interested?

Absolutely! Every single respondent in the survey is important – older, younger, car owner, non-car owner, those who walk, those who travel a lot, and those who never go anywhere.

Even if all you do is to walk to the shops to pick up some milk, we still would like to know. In fact, this type of travel is just as important as a trip from one end of the country to the other.

So, whether you make a lot of trips, only leave the house once or twice, or even if you don’t go anywhere at all, just record what actually happened on your 2 days.

What do you get?

You will receive an overview of your travel with details of distances and times. This is confidential and can only be seen by you.

How will my privacy be protected?

Participation is voluntary, private and confidential.

The information you provide is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. This means:

  • Data is anonymous. Any details that could identify you are removed.
  • All data is pooled to present a picture of how New Zealanders travel. There is no reporting of individual travel patterns. Only Ministry of Transport staff and approved researchers will have access to the data.
  • Data is secure and password protected.
  • Only you in your household will be able to access details of where and when you have travelled.

Where can I see the results?

Survey results are published on the Ministry of Transport website at:

Research Panel

On behalf of the Ministry of Transport, CBG maintains a Travel Research Panel. It consists of people who are happy to take part in further research for the Ministry.

The panel answers questions on travel issues requiring quick insight into the public view.

If you agree to be part of the panel:

  • participation in any future research remains voluntary
  • you will be contacted (via phone, TXT or email) and invited to take part 
  • you can refuse to participate
  • time involved in participation is typically 5-10 minutes per survey
  • the topics are most often issues of public interest.

Additional information about you

In addition to the survey questions, the Ministry now (from Dec 2016) asks permission to combine the valuable information you have provided in this survey with other routinely collected information such as that found in the driver licence register, motor vehicle register or from ACC. This allows more informed decisions to be made about transport policy, such as around safety and risk on New Zealand roads.

Should you agree for this additional step the Privacy Act 1993 applies, and any information that could identify you will be removed after the data is linked. The linked data can only be used for statistical/research purposes.

You can cancel this permission at any time by writing to: The New Zealand Household Travel Survey, Ministry of Transport, PO Box 3175, Wellington, New Zealand.

What if I drive for a living?

If you are a professional driver, that is someone who is employed to transport goods or people (like a courier, bus, taxi or  truck driver) you will not be asked to provide detailed information on the  work-related travel. 

This week wasn’t a normal week for me

Every day across New Zealand, people are making some trips they regularly make and some they do not regularly make. It is important to get a picture of all these trips to understand how all New Zealanders travel. 

Will someone be tracking where I am travelling via the Travel Logger?

No. Data provided by individuals taking part in the survey is not monitored. The data gained from the Travel Logger will be analysed in bulk once the participants have completed the survey.

Will children have to carry a Travel Logger?

No. Children under 15 will not be asked to carry a Travel Logger. However, if you are taking part and have children under 15, you will be asked about their travel.

Who can I contact about the survey?

You can ask your interviewer any questions you have, or you can phone CBG on 0800 478 783.

View the brochure for participating households [PDF, 1.5 MB]

The COVID-19 travel survey

About the interview

We are inviting some of the people who previously took part in the New Zealand Travel Survey, and at the time agreed that we could contact them about other research in the future, to take part in this COVID-19 Travel Survey. These people will be called and invited to take part in a phone interview.

The phone interview takes about 15 minutes. The interview will be carried out by trained interviewers from a company called CBG Health Research Limited(external link). CBG Health Research Limited (who also trades under CBG Public Sector Surveying) is a New Zealand company experienced in carrying out surveys.

Your privacy

The information given to the interviewer is protected by the Privacy Act 1993 and won’t be discussed with anyone. No one else will know who has taken part in the survey. The answers given are added to other people’s answers to create grouped results, so an individual's information cannot be traced. Your information will always remain confidential.

Need more information?

For more information about the COVID-19 Travel Survey, contact CBG Health Research Limited(external link), the company carrying out the interviews, on 0800 478 783.

For information on COVID-19, including questions about financial support and staying at home guidelines, you can go to the Unite against COVID-19 website.(external link)