We've collaborated with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to see what Aucklanders have to say about our transport future.

Supported by the Infrastructure Community Futures Research Centre
(Read more about the research centre here: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/engineering/our-research/discover/research-areas-and-facilities/icfrc.html.)


public consultation meeting

What was this project about?

The current transport system is not meeting the needs of our growing population and economy and is failing to respond to the challenges of climate change. But the problems are complex, and the solutions are not easy. Changes in the transport system will impact current and future generations of Aucklanders. To make the right decisions, it is important to understand what people want for the future, and what they think is a fair approach to achieve those goals.

Koi Tū has worked with Auckland Council to run a deliberative forum – an innovative form of citizen engagement that follows the principles of deliberative democracy. (Click here to learn more)

A diverse group of 100 Aucklanders were selected to participate via a randomised ‘civic lottery’ process.

The question that was put to the participants was:
What changes do you think are needed to ensure that everyone can get around Auckland efficiently, affordably, safely and sustainably, well into the future?

The process involved an initial opinion poll, 2 full-day workshops and 2 online evening sessions. After the deliberation and learning, participants completed the opinion poll again.

What did the deliberative forum tell us?

Koi Tū produced a report on the deliberative forum that concluded September 2023.

Read the report here.

The primary measure of the impact of the deliberative process was the change in survey responses
obtained before and after the deliberation, regarding participants’ perspectives on the existing
transport system and its impacts, and their level of support for various possible changes. The survey
asked how much they agreed or disagreed with a set of statements, using a Likert rating scale from 0
(strongly disagree) to 10 (strongly agree). The difference in responses between the two surveys
revealed shifts in views after learning and deliberation. Qualitative data on participants views during
deliberation was also collected and analysed.

At the start of the forum there was already support for some (but not all) changes and interventions
that would help to reduce the negative impacts of transport. After deliberation, support for all such
interventions increased, as indicated by the mean level of support across all participants. From the
start, the participants understood that building more road lanes was not a particularly effective way to
alleviate congestion and other problems, with low support in the first survey reducing further after
learning and deliberation.

The data indicate that the most favoured changes are:

  • Upgrade Auckland’s rail network so that trains run faster and more frequently
  • Make it safer, easier and more comfortable for everybody to walk around their local area
  • Provide more bus services so that buses turn up frequently at all times of the day
  • Provide a safe and connected bike path network across the Auckland region, including
    removing car parking spaces where required
  • Build more homes closer to the city centre, public transport stations and main bus routes

The question is “What changes do you think are needed to ensure that everyone can get around efficiently, affordably, safely and sustainably, well into the future?”

Participant website during the process: 

Participants were given access to a private website as part of the deliberative forum. Here they received information, access to videos for learning, compiled their created work, and had their questions answered.

You can access a de-identified version here.

How could I find out more or get involved?

Feel free to write to our email address ccl-transport@auckland.ac.nz

We’re happy to receive all queries around this project, or if you just want more information.


Find out more about deliberative democracy and the
thinking behind the Complex Conversations project

Website links

NewDemocracy Foundation
Access an assortment of valuable resources at

Involve UK
Putting people at the heart of decision-making


Real Democracy Now
A podcast about deliberation, culture and context

A radical proposal for true democracy
Hélène Landemore talks to Ezra Klein

Facilitating Public Deliberations
Podcast from NewDemocracy Foundation


Articles and reports

Catching the deliberative wave
OECD report on deliberative democracy

Film and interactive media

When Citizens Assemble
Documentary film

About Koi Tū

Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures is an independent, transdisciplinary think tank and research centre at the University of Auckland.

We generate knowledge and analysis to address critical long-term national and global issues challenging our future.



Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures
The University of Auckland
Level 7, Building 804, 18 Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland Central 1010
Newsletter: Subscribe here
Twitter: @InformedFutures


Future transport email:
Future water email:

Phone: 027 271 9907