Motu Move - National Ticketing Solution

Canterbury will be the first region in Aotearoa to roll out the much anticipated new National Ticketing Solution, named Motu Move!

Motu Move is a national programme that will provide a range of easy-to-use payments methods that customers can use for all public transport across Aoteoroa New Zealand.

Canterbury was one of the first regions in New Zealand to roll out contactless transport cards on our buses and ferries with Metrocard more than 20 years ago. Now it’s time for our payment system to lead the way again, and over the next year our region will be first to roll out Motu Move!

Motu Move®

More ways to pay

Motu Move will give customers more options when paying for public transport:

  • Contactless debit or credit cards
  • Digital payments on mobile phones and smart watches (including Apple Pay and Google Pay)
  • A prepaid Motu Move card that will work similar to the current Metrocard

Following a decision by Council last year, cash will no longer be accepted on Canterbury’s public transport once the new system goes live. Customers can continue to use cash on Metro services until the launch of the Motu Move.

Learn more about the decision to remove cash payments, and what the Motu Move alternatives will be in the Metro decision to go cashless section.

When is it coming?

Motu Move will launch in Timaru in December 2024. For more information on Motu Move in Timaru, see our Timaru Page.

Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri will transition to the new ticketing system as soon as possible in 2025.

We will have more details for you in the coming months. For now, please continue to board and pay for your Metro services as you currently do. You can of course still order new and replacement Metrocards through our usual channels.

Getting our buses ready

Our buses are now undergoing preparation for the new Motu Move equipment to be fitted onto vehicles closer to go-live.

While most of this work won’t be visible, customers may begin to notice new poles and a box-shaped attachment appearing at the front and rear doors on some of our buses.

These are where the readers will eventually be that customers will use to tag on and off with their card or device once Motu Move is live in their area.

Please continue to tap your card on the Metrocard reader like normal until Motu Move is live.

A small unbranded black box attached to the yellow poles on a bus in preparation for the installation of Motu Move equipment.

Poles are installed at the rear of buses as Motu Move will require passengers to “tag off” when getting off the bus. Tagging off is common on public transport elsewhere in New Zealand and around the world and ensures customers are charged the correct fare.

It will also provide us with more accurate data about how people are using public transport and help in planning service improvements where they are needed.


Metrocards will no longer work after Motu Move has launched.

You will instead be able to switch to using other payment methods such as a contactless credit or debit card or the new prepaid Motu Move card.

You will be able to receive a refund for any balance remaining on your Metrocard and more information will be released about this closer to the launch. We will make sure everyone knows about any actions they need to take well in advance.

Metro decision to go cashless

In 2023, Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) approved a recommendation to remove cash from the Metro network when the National Ticketing Solution is implemented. This means that cash will no longer be accepted on public transport in Canterbury when the new ticketing system is launched.

This is part of a network safety project and with the increase of on-bus safety incidents, Metro operators have advocated removing cash from the network from a staff safety and overall welfare perspective.

Tickets will be able to be pre-purchased with cash from the bus interchange, and you can get or top up a prepaid Motu Move card with cash at the interchange, other service centres, and through an extended network of retail outlets. More information and support on payment options for customers that prefer to pay with cash will be provided closer to launch

Customers can continue to use cash on Metro services until the launch of Motu Move.

For more information see our press release, which followed the decision.

Other regions to follow

All other regions around New Zealand will follow in rolling out the new Motu Move system. Customers will then be able to use this single payment system on all public transport in all regions of New Zealand that have joined the NTS.

Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency), Greater Wellington (Te Pane Matua Taiao), Environment Canterbury Regional Council (Kaunihera Taiao ki Waitaha), AT, Regional Consortium.

Find out more about Motu Move and the National Ticketing Solution programme on the NZTA website.

How is Motu Move funded?

The National Ticketing programme, Motu move, is being funded by the central government and led by New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi. This includes funding for new infrastructure such as ticket readers on our buses and ferries.

More information

Check out the links below for more information about Motu Move and the National Ticketing Solution programme.