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Government stewardship expectations

In 2017, the Government published guidelines on Treasury’s website for departments that are responsible for developing and administering regulation.

These stewardship expectations include responsibilities for:

  • monitoring, reviewing and reporting on regulatory systems
  • robust analysis and implementation support for changes to regulatory systems, and
  • good regulatory practice.

Regulatory principles often cover matters such as:

  • providing evidence that government intervention is warranted
  • making sure regulation is risk-based and focuses enforcement effort on what matters
  • encouraging positive behaviour to achieve compliance or to avoid regulation altogether
  • ensuring interventions are proportional and set at the minimum level needed.

Government expectations for good regulatory practice(external link)

What transport stewardship covers

The transport regulatory system covers 3 main modes of transport: land (road and rail), aviation and maritime. Each has regulatory components in common, such as licensing and vehicle certification, and some that are different, such as international obligations.

Transport system objectives

We have transport objectives for aviation, land and maritime transport activities that ensure we meet our regulatory stewardship criteria: efficiency, effectiveness, durability and resilience, and fairness and accountability.

Our transport objectives for aviation, maritime and land include:

  • ensuring integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable transport systems
  • putting in place obligations under international agreements.

Maritime has additional objectives that include:

  • safe standards and behaviours, clean maritime environments and a secure waters
  • protecting marine environments
  • ensuring preparedness for and ability to respond to maritime pollution spills.

Regulatory components include:

  • System — including international treaties and agreements, infrastructure-related regulatory activities, participation in international governance and regulated fees collection.
  • Network management —including standards, rules and guidance, audits, education, navigation aids, search and rescue, pollution preparedness and response, speed limit management, traffic control devices and roading standards.
  • Commercial operators — including certification, standards, logbooks and dangerous goods.
  • Vehicles — including certification, standards, technology, registration and dimensions and mass.
  • People — including licensing, certification, assisted compliance, load restraints.

Each mode of transport interacts with other regulatory systems, for example:

  • international regulatory regimes
  • space regulatory regime
  • workplace health and safety regime
  • environmental regulatory regimes, and
  • national security.

Transport System Regulatory Stewardship Plan — 2019 to 2022

We developed a stewardship plan together with Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime New Zealand.

The plan:

  • explains regulatory systems and regulatory stewardship
  • describes the transport regulatory system
  • sets out our achievements to date and the approach the transport sector uses to move towards regulatory stewardship
  • provides the transport sector’s action plans for regulatory stewardship for 2019 to 2022.

2019-2022 Stewardship Plan  [PDF, 1 MB]

Funding principles for the transport regulatory system

We have developed a set of principles to guide funding reviews and provide advice on the appropriate funding sources for transport regulatory activities. These build on Treasury's guidelines for setting charges in the public sector and the Office of the Auditor-General’s guidelines relating to charging fees for public sector goods and services.

Transport regulatory system – Funding principles  [PDF, 128 KB]

How the transport sector is regulated

There are 26 Acts and 268 sets of regulations and rules that regulate the transport sector.

Transport’s primary legislation establishes and empowers the institutions that create, maintain, and give effect to the regulations and rules within the transport system.

Transport regulations establish the offences, and prescribe fees, levies, charges, liabilities, fines and penalties associated with managing and enforcing activity within the regulatory system.

In addition, regulation can include non-legislative policy tools such as information campaigns, education, persuasion and self-regulation. It can also include quasi-regulation such as codes of practice and guidelines that can also influence behaviour.

Transport rules

The Minister of Transport can make transport rules on issues affecting land transport (road and rail), civil aviation, maritime safety and marine protection issues.

The rules set standards for:

  • users, educators, transport staff and service personnel
  • vehicles, aircraft and vessels
  • associated ground equipment and facilities, and
  • operations and associated operational procedures. 

The Land Transport Act 1998, Civil Aviation Act 1990 and the Maritime Transport Act 1994 vary to some extent as to what can be the subject matter of a rule and the matters that must be considered when making a rule. In general, transport rules govern the construction and maintenance of vessels, vehicles and aircraft, their operation and the licensing and certification of those who operate them or provide services in relation to their operation, including air traffic control and the creation of navigation routes.

Land Transport Act 1998(external link) 

Civil Aviation Act 1990(external link) 

Maritime Transport Act 1994(external link) 

How transport rules are developed

The Transport Rules Development Framework sets out best practice to achieve a consistent approach to rule development and implementation.

The framework includes an end-to-end process, tools, templates and supporting information. The process is designed to be flexible, to allow for different levels of urgency and complexity of policy proposals and rule changes. Not every step needs to be taken, or taken to the same extent in every case.

Following the framework helps us and the transport agencies to understand what parts of the process are necessary in each particular case and how risks can best be mitigated if not following a particular step.

There are some legal requirements — for example: public notification and consultation — and mandatory expectations, such as those set by Ministers or Cabinet, which we need to meet. The policy investigation phase is critical in determining whether or not a regulatory intervention such as a rule is necessary.

The broad phases of rule production include:

Phase 1: Regulatory development

  • Initiation
  • Policy investigation

Phase 2: Rule production

  • Rule development and consultation
  • Rule finalisation and signature
  • Post-project review
  • Evaluation

Transport rules programme

We manage the transport rules programme, which is a rolling programme of new rules, revocations and amendments. This programme helps to give effect to the Government’s priorities across the land (road and rail), maritime and aviation transport sectors including, for example, improving road safety, protecting our marine environment and maintaining a safe aviation system.

The current Transport Rules Programme is still in place as rules are carried over into the following year.

The Transport Rules Programme 2018-19 [PDF, 218 KB]

Appendix Rules Projects 2018-19 [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Regulatory Impact Assessments

All policy initiatives that propose any change to regulations require a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) also known as a Regulatory Impact Statement. This is a Government requirement overseen by Treasury and forms best practice.

Regulatory impact assessments