Introduction from the Chief Executive

Over the past three years, the Ministry has made considerable progress in lifting its performance and managing costs. We have responded to the government’s expectation for the public sector to deliver Better Public Services by doing something quite innovative: adopting a business model and culture based on the approach taken at a professional services firm. This operating model is believed to be a ‘first’ for a New Zealand public sector organisation.

As a policy organisation, the Ministry provides day-to-day advice, a programme of work that meets the government’s priorities, and strategic long-term thinking for the sector. The professional services model has provided for these various demands by allowing the Ministry to be much more responsive to changing priorities, while still investing in its long-term thinking. New teams can be formed within hours of new work coming through the door, and there is much greater discipline in managing and delivering our work. These changes have enabled us to reduce costs and lift productivity.

We have had some great examples of rigorous policy work over the past year. Advice on the Clifford Bay ferry terminal business case, vehicle licensing reform and agricultural vehicle reform sit alongside the negotiation of a record number of air services agreements and completion of the most comprehensive review of Road User Charges undertaken since the system’s inception.

Last year we undertook an exercise to more clearly define the Ministry’s purpose. We involved Ministry staff and stakeholders to develop our philosophy page [PDF, 768 KB] which sets out our purpose as an organisation – ensuring a transport system that helps New Zealand thrive. It also describes what we collectively believe about the Ministry and the role of the transport system, and how we will work to deliver our greatest imaginable challenge of creating the environment to double the value from transport initiatives. We will seek to apply this challenge to all of the work that we do over the next three to five years.

The Ministry is continuing to pursue an active programme of organisational development and performance improvement. This programme, known as Shaping our Future, has three priorities in the coming year:

  • embedding our purpose and philosophy
  • leading together
  • improving the quality of our advice.

The next three years will require the Ministry to work across the sector to address key transport issues. These include:

  • continuing to improve the quality of transport regulation to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and does not impose unnecessary costs. This will include working with the New Zealand Transport Agency to implement the government’s decisions on warrants/certificates of fitness, ensuring there are no barriers to the uptake of technology and improving the quality of the vehicle fleet
  • advising on the government’s approach to particular infrastructure proposals, including the Clifford Bay ferry terminal and the Auckland projects, and developing the next Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding
  • implementing the next Safer Journeys’ action plan with a focus on signature projects, speed management, unsafe vehicles and safe road users
  • working to ensure that transport markets are open and efficient, in particular the liberalisation of air services and providing advice on freight productivity and port sector issues.

Chief Executive statement of responsibility

In signing this statement, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information contained in the Statement of Intent for the Ministry of Transport. This information has been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Act 1989. It is also consistent with the proposed appropriations set out in the Appropriations (2013/14 Estimates) Bill, as presented to the House of Representatives in accordance with section 13 of the Public Finance Act 1989, and with existing appropriations and financial authorities.


Martin Matthews

Chief Executive, Ministry of Transport


Fiona Macmaster

Manager Finance, Ministry of Transport


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