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To ensure that the Ministry can continue to deliver on the Minister’s key priorities, the Ministry has a programme of work focussed on growing the capability and capacity of the sector. This includes lifting performance, enhancing collaboration, and long-term stewardship of the sector.

Strengthening our governance relationship

The Ministry continued to strengthen its relationships with the four transport Crown entities. The Minister has a statutory stewardship role, and the Ministry supports this. Our governance work has ongoing core functions of:

  • strategic engagement
  • stewardship advice to guide key stakeholders
  • decision-making
  • evaluating entity performance and capability
  • identifying key risks and potential mitigations 
  • Board appointments.

In 2016/17, in addition to the ongoing governance role, the Ministry has established a Crown Entity Assessment Framework to provide a clear-sighted view of Crown entity performance. We published The Guidance Initiative in December 2016. This document outlines the key aspects of the Ministry of Transport’s monitoring role, the monitoring cycle and the performance assessment framework for the transport sector.

Crown Entity Board Forums

The annual transport Board Forum provides Crown Entity Board members an opportunity to network, discuss issues of interest, and meet and hear from influential speakers, the Minister and/or Associate Minister of Transport, as well as from Ministry senior management. Board members and Chief Executives from the four transport Crown entities and from the transport sector State Owned Enterprises are invited.

We held two Board Forums in 2016/17. The theme in 2017 was ‘Creating value from disruptive technology’, and in 2016 was ‘Tools for governance’.

Funding reviews

The Ministry has a consolidated multi-year programme to ensure all funding and fees are reviewed every three to five years. These reviews ensure that there is appropriate cost recovery for government activities, so that services are delivered adequately and sustainably.

In 2016/17, three reviews were completed, these were on:

  • the Oil Pollution Levy
  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • search and rescue activities for recreational boaters paid from fuel excise duty.

In 2017/18, we will continue to work on reviews of rail fees regulation and motor vehicle administration.

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Working across the transport sector

Transport Sector Leaders and the Collaboration & Capability Programme

The Ministry chairs the Transport Sector Leaders group made up of sector Chief Executives. The group oversees delivery of the sector wide work on the Government’s priority of Better Public Services, identifying and developing innovative ways for the sector to improve the efficiency and quality of services we deliver.

The Collaboration and Capability Programme is one work stream of this. The Ministry took over leadership of this programme in 2015/16 for two years. Work in the past year has focused on improving procurement practices.

In 2016/17, the Transport Sector Leaders have reviewed and refreshed their programme and have adopted a collaborative leadership approach to the transport sector outcomes. They have identified three key priorities for the future:

  • investment and funding
  • strategic resilience
  • digital and infrastructure.

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The Transport Domain Plan and Research Strategy

The Transport Domain Plan (the Domain Plan) and the Transport Research Strategy (the Research Strategy) were published in July 2016. The Domain Plan and the Research Strategy are complementary documents that provide the strategic direction the sector requires to fill key data, information and knowledge gaps to inform decision-making. The Domain Plan ensures that the sector has the right data and information while the Research Strategy creates an environment that ensures investment in the right research. These two documents draw on the same analytical frameworks and stakeholder engagement process, to ensure the sector can identify and fill key data, information and research gaps in a consistent manner over time.

A number of activities have been undertaken to implement the Domain Plan and the Research Strategy
since the release of the two documents:

  • The Ministry has led the development of the Transport Knowledge Hub as a channel to facilitate collaboration of data and research efforts. Membership of the Hub has grown and we now have 8 topic hubs and over 420 members across the private and public sectors. The Hub runs a range of seminars and other discussion forums (such as the annual Transport Knowledge Conference) that aim to advance the sector’s knowledge in a range of transport topics.
  • The Ministry has completed a number of publications to make data, information and research programme more visible. These include the Transport Domain Plan Stocktake report, Transport Outlook, Transport Research Register and Transport Intelligent Digest. These publications are updated periodically to ensure the sector has the latest information to inform data and research programming decisions.


    Through the Transport Knowledge Hub, the Ministry has developed and released the first set of the Transport Sector Strategic Challenges to help the sector understand what is important and what might be impeding us from having a transport system that maximises social and economic impacts and minimises harm.

Part of the next step to implement the two documents is to develop initiatives to ensure the sector develops its skills and capability effectively and efficiently, and sustains the effort over time.

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Working internationally

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
In August 2014, Nick Brown, General Manager Aviation and Maritime, became the Lead Shepherd (Chair) of the 21 member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group. The role gives the Ministry the opportunity to lead international discussion about transport.

The Working Group focuses on information sharing, promoting best practice in transport, and building the capacity of the developing economy members.

Nick Brown, as Lead Shepherd, led an internal review of the Working Group’s structure and processes
with a view to improving its efficiency. The review’s recommendations will be presented to APEC transport
Ministers when they meet in October 2017. Nick Brown’s term as Lead Shepherd will end on 31 December 2017, and the role will pass to Korea.

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