First round of Hoe ki angitu innovation challenge fund recipients announced

The Minister of Transport today announced the winners of the inaugural Innovation challenge fund for transport launched by Waka Kotahi earlier this year at an ITSNZ-hosted event in Auckland. 

24 projects are being supported in the first round, a diverse range of applicants with ideas targeting micromobility, first and last-mile modeshift to low-emission choices, new sustainable materials 

"It's really pleasing to see the announcement today, the challenge fund represents a good new channel for collaboration between government, industry and academic researchers. says Mike Rudge, Chair of ITSNZ. "Both funding for trials and greater collaboration is something that ITSNZ and many of our members have been calling for. To see that there were well over 100 applicants in the first round demonstrates a huge appetite from innovators in transport, mobility, technology and engineering."

"At a macro level the big transport challenges faced by New Zealand such as climate change, emissions reduction and safety require urgent progress while at a micro-level our network and eco-system has diverse challenges, therefore it's imperative that we develop and trial solutions for these situations, which often have regional nuances."

We are anticipating that the fund will help to prove and develop innovative solutions with genuine impact to accelerate better transport outcomes. We are hopeful that the successes will result in greater funding and collaboration pathways in the future. "

A number of ITSNZ member organisations were amongst the successful applicants for the first Hoe ki angitu challenge fund by Waka Kotahi. 

Congratulations to the following member organisations

  • AUT Auckland University of Technology
  • Beca
  • Jacobs
  • Ohmio Automotion
  • Somar Digital
  • University of Auckland
  • WSP  


Press Release from Minister of Transport 

Kiwis step up to the challenge for innovative transport solutions


Kiwis up and down the country have stepped up to the Government’s call for innovative solutions to the country’s transport challenges, highlighting the strength of kiwi ingenuity, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced.


“The Government is upgrading New Zealand’s transport system to make it safer, greener, and more efficient for now and future generations to come. However we know we can’t solve some the challenges we face alone, that’s why we went looking for kiwi ingenuity to help find solutions to some of our global transport challenges,” Michael Wood said.


Waka Kotahi received more than 110 applications for the initial round of funding for the $15 million innovation fund Hoe ki angitū, launched in June 2022 to help accelerate the development of solutions to challenges facing the land transport system.


After a thorough evaluation process, 24 applications have been approved to receive a total of $4.2 million in the first funding round, which asked applicants to respond to three key challenges:

accelerating the use of recycled materials and sustainable practices
integrating low emission first and last-mile travel solutions
providing under-served communities with greater access to transport options.
“New Zealand is a country full of creative, innovative people and to help us successfully meet the problems facing the transport sector we need to tap into that creativity by jointly accelerating solutions,” Michael Wood said.


“Kiwi innovators from the private sector, research institutions, communities, iwi and universities have stepped up to these challenges, with an exciting range of new ideas. Successful applications include the use recycled textile fibres in different types of asphalt, the pilot of a small micromobility hub at Auckland’s Panmure Station with a network of mini hubs in the surrounding neighbourhood, and a ‘lease to buy’ e-bike trial, offering low-cost e-bikes or e-bike conversions to people who are underserved.


“The fund is part of the Government’s comprehensive approach to responding to the climate emergency. Innovation is one of the pillars of our Emissions Reduction Plan to drive forward new and quicker ways to respond to the challenges we are facing in the land transport sector.


“Looking at the quality of applications approved for funding gives me confidence that by working together and being open to new ideas Aotearoa can rise to the challenge of addressing even our biggest transport challenges, to deliver a better-connected, cleaner, and safer transport system for New Zealand,” Michael Wood said.


In addition to the financial support being provided through Hoe ki angitū, the successful applicants will also be supported by Waka Kotahi with access to data, transport expertise, help to navigate land transport regulation, and support with real-world testing of solutions.