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

The transport system needs to be resilient

The ability of the transport system 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 four years, 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 to which the transport system will have to respond. 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 caused by the actions of individuals that threaten the security of a transport service. The system also needs to be able 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

At the strategic level we will undertake analysis to help shape and develop a common understanding of transport sector resilience, in collaboration with transport partners. At a practical level, we will continue to assess risks and resilience across the transport sector as part of our engagement in the National Security System and National Infrastructure Plan.

We will review the findings from the 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 advise government on technology issues, including screening technologies, body scanners and future arrangements for liquids, aerosols and gels. Emerging issues we will advise on include technological advances in scanners and their ability 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 Oil Pollution Levy collects monies from industry for the New Zealand Oil Pollution Fund. The Fund supports Maritime New Zealand’s oil pollution preparedness and response functions as set out in the Maritime Transport Act. We will schedule a review in 2015 of the Oil Pollution Levy to ensure it is maintained at the appropriate level in the future.

 Improved preparedness for, and management of, shocks and major events
Outcome measure
Transport Response Team is ready to respond to all emergencies within one hour of being activated.  As at March 2013, no activations have been required in 2012/13. 
Impact measures - reduced disruptions to access to transport infrastructure and services
Increased percentage of lessons learned from post-project evaluations of major planned and unplanned events are applied to systems or frameworks to mitigate impacts of future events.  This is a new measure. Data for preceding years is not available. 
Impact measures - reduced future risks for New Zealand from grounding of ships
Increase in a shipowner’s liability for the cost of future grounding of ships.  New Zealand’s level of exposure is the costs that exceed the shipowner’s liability. A shipowner’s liability for maritime claims in New Zealand is, for visiting cargo ships in the typical size range, in the range of NZ$11 million to $15 million (actual amount determined under a formula specified by the Convention on Liability for Maritime Claims 1976). This level of shipowner’s liability has remained unchanged for more than a decade.  This measure is new as at March 2013. Legislation is in the House to increase the limit to $39 million to $56 million by 2015. 

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