Foreword: Minister of Transport
A well-performing transport system is central to our daily lives. We all use the transport system – to get us to work, to meet with family and friends, to move our goods to markets or to connect us with the international community. I have four important priorities for the transport system:
- investment in infrastructure
- better quality regulation
- a safer transport system
- opening markets.
Alongside those priorities, the transport system also needs to be able to respond to other issues, including the government’s drive for better public services, and unforeseen circumstances, such as the Canterbury earthquakes or the Rena grounding.
Investment in infrastructure
The government is making significant investments in the Roads of National Significance and KiwiRail Turnaround Plan to lift the performance of the transport system. But there are other major issues that the government needs to address. The rebuild of Christchurch’s transport infrastructure and the government’s response to the new Auckland Plan, in particular, raise significant funding challenges. This means that we will need to be clear on our funding priorities, the timing of our investments, and the revenue and other funding options that are available. This includes attracting private sector investment.
Better quality regulation
Regulation has been used widely to govern how we all use the transport system and it remains important to the transport system operating safely and efficiently. However, such regulation can impose significant costs on businesses and citizens. We need to be confident such costs are minimised and justified.
Major initiatives, such as vehicle licensing reform, offer opportunities to make significant reductions in transport costs for all New Zealanders over the coming years. Implementing other initiatives over the coming months, such as changes to the road user charges system, will also bring reduced compliance costs.
A safer transport system
As a country we have made great progress in reducing the number of deaths that occur on our roads in recent years, and we need to continue to do so. The $3.5 billion annual social cost of road crashes is too high. Implementing the Safer Journeys action plan is a high priority. Another is developing the next action plan with a focus on young drivers, alcohol, improving the roads and reducing speed-related crashes.
There are opportunities to create improved access to international and domestic markets. Negotiating new or amended air services agreements with emerging markets will enable New Zealand firms to take advantage of new and growing markets for business and tourism. Implementing the new public transport operating model will encourage patronage growth, maximise competition on routes and result in less reliance on government subsidies.
Responding to other issues
Achieving all that the transport system can offer, economically and socially, will require the transport sector to work together and lift its performance.
This Statement of Intent sets out what the Ministry of Transport will do to support the government and lift the performance of the transport system. I am satisfied the Statement of Intent reflects my expectations of the Ministry.
Ministerial Statement of Responsibility
I am satisfied that the information on future operating intentions provided by my department in this Statement of Intent and the Information Supporting the Estimates is in accordance with sections 38, 40 and 41 of the Public Finance Act 1989 and is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the government.
Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport