Transport Licensing Act 1931

Transport Licensing Act 1931

NZ Legislation
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Transport Licensing Act 1931

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The Transport Licensing Act 1931 was a New Zealand Act of Parliament regulating land transport. It was introduced following a Royal Commission on road and rail competition in 1930. The Act also regulated aspects such as safety and insurance requirements for carriers and the regulation of public passenger services.


In 1933, the Act was amended to cover all rural road carriers carting in excess of . In 1939, town carriers were regulated.

Maximum distance protection

In 1936, the protection of railways was extended to cover all freight conveyed over distances greater than those specified by the Act. This was by far the most crucial regulation, as it gave rail an effective monopoly on long-distance freight transport. Originally this limit was . In 1962 it was increased to , and in 1977 to .


The Act was repealed in 1982, effectively deregulating land transport and opening the railways up to competition. The Railways Department was corporatised as the New Zealand Railways Corporation as a result, and throughout the 1980s until the early 1990s lost substantial amounts of freight to road carriers. Freight traffic reached its nadir in 1993, andsince then railway freight traffic has increased.

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