Improving preparedness for, and management of, shocks and major events.

The transport system needs to be resilient

The ability to proactively plan for future needs and emergencies, and respond quickly to failures that disrupt or damage infrastructure, is a critical component of the success of the system. Much of the work the Ministry undertakes through the intermediate outcome ‘Improved planning and investment in infrastructure and services’ also contributes to improving the resilience of the transport system.

The transport system needs to be resilient to respond to unintentional and intentional damage. Over the last year or so, the transport system has had to respond to a number of unplanned incidents including the Canterbury earthquakes and the Rena grounding. While we hope that we do not see repeats of these incidents over the next few years, we know that there will be unforeseen incidents that the transport system will have to respond to. The types of unintentional disruption or damage the transport system needs to be able to overcome include:

  • floods, land slips and earthquakes
  • major transport accidents
  • failure in transport infrastructure.

A resilient transport system also needs to be well placed to respond to intentional damage through the actions of individuals that threaten the security of a transport service. The system also needs to be well placed to respond to new demands from other countries or international organisations. These demands often impose constraints or costs on operating our transport system and, through that, impact on the competitiveness of our exporters and our attractiveness as a tourism destination.

We also need the transport system to be responsive to the one-off demands placed on it by major events, such as the Rugby World Cup.

The Ministry's role in improving the transport system's preparedness for, and management of shocks and major events

The Ministry improves the transport system’s preparedness for, and management of, shocks and major events through its policy advice to government and its work across the government transport sector.

In its policy advice role the Ministry supports the government’s response to one-off incidents such as the Rena grounding or the Canterbury earthquakes.

The Ministry also leads the development of the transport emergency response plan and is the lead agency for the transport cluster that responds to national emergencies and planning exercises.

To improve preparedness, the Ministry will:

  • reduce disruptions and loss of access to transport infrastructure and services 
  • reduce future risks for New Zealand from the grounding of ships.

Improved preparedness - Ministry impacts and actions

The Ministry’s intended impacts in this area over the next three years, and the projects and activities that will deliver them, include the following:

Impact 9: Reduced disruptions to access to transport infrastructure and services

We will review the findings from the recent Canterbury earthquakes and Rena grounding, including any recommendations from the Maritime New Zealand and Transport Accident Investigation Commission investigations. We will implement changes as appropriate to improve continuity of service and safety.

To improve our aviation security preparedness, we will advise government on technology issues, including screening technologies, body scanners and future arrangements for liquids, aerosols and gels. Advances in technology in the future may enable scanners to determine the contents of liquid, aerosol or gel containers, reducing the burden of current security arrangements on travellers.

Impact 10: Reduced future risks for New Zealand from grounding of ships

The Ministry will advise the government on options to put the Oil Pollution Levy on a sustainable funding basis and minimise future risk to New Zealand from maritime incidents. This will include considering the potential benefits of changing the way the levy is calculated from gross tonnage to a threat-based methodology.

The Ministry will implement legislative changes to increase the ship owners’ liability for oil spills and other damage caused by shipping accidents. The Ministry will also consider other measures to manage the risks and liabilities associated with international shipping.

We will schedule a review for 2015 of the Oil Pollution Levy to ensure it is maintained at the appropriate level in the future.


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