NZUAG was formed when the 75 Road Controlling Authorities (RCA's) recognised the pressures placed on road managers by utilities working in the road. The RCA's acknowledged they could not sort out the concerns on their own. In late 2001 a forum of utility operators and road controlling authorities established the New Zealand Utilities Advisory Group.
The group was formed to look at issues relating to utilities working in the road corridor.
The result is RoadShare, a range of projects that have produced national best practice guidelines and tools for all aspects of road corridor management.
NZUAG began identifying issues that needed to be resolved. It embarked on a range of initiatives designed to resolve these issues and prepared a Statement of Intent.
In April 2002 the first New Zealand Utilities Conference was held in Wellington. At the conference a mandate was given to NZUAG to create solutions to best use New Zealand's roading corridor. The Honourable Paul Swain, Minister of Transport and Communications spoke at the conference and invited the group to approach him for support and legislation.
Since 2005, NZUAG has focused on the development of a new national code to address all the issues pertaining to access for utility networks in the road and rail corridors. This aligns with Government reforms in this area, bringing consistency to the legal requirements for the different utilities: electricity, gas, telecommunications, water and waste waters.
NZUAG was a foundation sponsor of the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards, sponsoring the networks and utilities Awards for three years. In 2009, NZUAG was the proud sponsor of the Young Engineer of the Year Award.
NZUAG promoted the establishment of the Utilities Access Act 2010 with the Ministry of Economic Development in order to have one code of practice used nationwide. Concurrently NZUAG developed the National Code of Practice for Utilities' Access to the Transport Corridors, and managed the consultation process before the Code was approved by the Minister of Infrastructure on 10 November 2011. Following consultation with the various sectors group, NZUAG resolved to become an incorporated society and registration was granted in December 2011.