I’m delighted to present this edition of MOTivate which highlights the significance of the recently launched New Zealand Transport Strategy 2008 (NZTS). The launch of this strategy, along with the Government Policy Statement (GPS) and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), shows that we are entering a new era for transport in New Zealand.
In this edition you’ll find a dedicated brochure summarising the NZTS, the targets it has set and how we intend to reach them. You are welcome to request a full copy of the NZTS.
With the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008 (the Amendment Act) in force from 1 August 2008, change is certainly on the way for the transport sector. The NZTS and the GPS are two key components to come out of the Act, and bring our vision of having an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable transport system another step closer.
The NZTS provides leadership and direction for the transport sector over the next 30 years, setting out defined targets for the sector and actions to achieve them. Some of these targets include halving per capita domestic greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2040, as well as reducing the number of road deaths to no more than 200 each year by 2040.
The GPS sets out shorter-term targets and focuses on providing direction for allocating land transport funding over the next ten years. Key organisations will have plenty of time to build the GPS into their own plans and thinking as it does not come into effect until July next year. Moving forward, the GPS will be renewed every three years which should create a higher level of certainty for land transport investment.
Another outcome from the Amendment Act is the creation of the NZTA which is now up and running. The NZTA takes over the functions of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand. A single entity will mean a more consistent stream of advice and better integration of the transport network.
The Amendment Act also signals change to the way Regional Land Transport Committees are set up. They will now be renamed Regional Transport Committees to reflect a broader transport focus, and will have new responsibilities including the ability to recommend a regional fuel tax scheme.
Against this backdrop of exciting initiatives, a record level of funding for the transport sector has been announced by Transport Minister Annette King at the launch of the 2008/09 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). A total of $2.7 billion across 12 activity classes was allocated, representing a 12 percent increase in funding from last year. This brings total Government forecast transport investment (including funding for rail projects and other initiatives outside the NLTP) to just over $3.1 billion.
I’m really proud to have been involved with the Ministry through such an exciting period of change. The new Chief Executive, Martin Matthews, joins the Ministry on 29 September 2008, and will see through the implementation of the NZTS and beyond. Martin brings to the Ministry a wealth of experience as a Chief Executive, and I’m sure he will relish the challenge of leading such a dynamic sector.
There is no doubt that the tasks set out ahead are challenging. But I’m confident that with the support of the sector and the willingness of New Zealanders to make different transport choices we can achieve our goals.
Acting Chief Executive
Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008 in force
A transport roadshow, presented to regions all over the country, has been providing information to local government about the recently announced changes to our transport system.
With the recent commencement of the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008, the Ministry and the NZ Transport Agency have been visiting councils to explain what the changes will mean for them. With the release of the New Zealand Transport Strategy 2008 (NZTS) at the same time, it is the first time strategy and funding direction have come together.
The main changes from the Amendment Act:
- It will enable the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport Funding – The GPS will ensure funding and planning for land transport contribute to the strategic objectives set out in the NZTS.
- Hypothecation – Hypothecation means the dedication (or ‘ring-fencing’) of all fuel excise duty, road user charges and motor vehicle registration fees for land transport expenditure. This ensures that funds collected from road transport users will be used for activities which benefit those same users.
- A single transport Crown entity: the NZ Transport Agency – There will be a more consistent stream of advice, greater integration of land transport as a network will occur and ultimately a greater ability to plan for how people travel and freight is moved, using all the different modes.
- Regional Land Transport Committees renamed Regional Transport Committees – This is to reflect a broader transport focus. They will have new responsibilities to prepare Regional Land Transport Programmes and recommend a regional fuel tax scheme.
- It will enable Regional Fuel Tax – An additional funding tool available to regions for high priority transport projects that will not reasonably be funded from any other source in the timeframe desired by the region.
A number of benefits are expected to result from this reform, including greater coordination between central, regional and local transport planning, and a longer-term focus for transport investment. Complementary planning and funding policies should also improve incentives as to where and when transport investment takes place, and to achieve priorities across the different transport modes.
Walking the walk
Transport Minister Annette King opened the biennial New Zealand Walking Conference in Auckland last month, but first the walking enthusiast joined delegates for a morning jaunt.
The theme for the two-day conference, organised and hosted by Living Streets Aotearoa, was ‘Double the feet on the Street,’ which was enthusiastically endorsed by Ms King.
The Minister said the theme sat well with the government’s New Zealand Transport Strategy 2008, which includes a target of increasing walking and cycling from the current levels of 17 percent of total trips in urban areas to 30 percent by 2040.
Ms King covered a range of issues during her address, including the health and environmental benefits of nationwide walking initiatives, like the Walking School Bus, feet first Walk to School Week and the Walk to Work day.
She also made reference to other initiatives that promote walking, such as the International Walking Charter and the Getting There – on foot, by cycle strategy.
Ms King reported to conference delegates that the government had recently endorsed the Charter. She was the first government Minister in the world to sign the international agreement in 2006. Although the Charter has no legal basis, it reinforces the government’s aspiration to encourage more people to walk more often.
Making walking safer is a key element to increasing participation levels. To address this Ms King pointed to the government’s Pedestrian and Cycle Safety framework. The framework outlines a comprehensive approach for reducing risks and improving safety through the three E’s of Engineering, Enforcement and Education.
New agency to improve transport systems
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) was formally established on 1 August, combining the functions and expertise of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand.
The new organisation brings together the functions of land transport planning, regulation of access to the transport network (eg driver and vehicle licensing), management of State highways, promotion of safety and sustainability, and allocation of funding. NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said the new Crown entity would provide a vital connection between the high level objectives for transport set out in the New Zealand Transport Strategy 2008,specific targets contained in government strategies and the delivery of services at a regional and local level. “The NZTA has been created to improve New Zealand’s transport systems. We’ll do this by bringing together planning around transport activities, providing greater guidance around national priorities and with a renewed focus on regional planning.” Mr Dangerfield said the NZTA would focus on five key areas during its first year of operation:
- Getting freight and people to use a wider range of transport modes.
- Safer travel – helping to make all journeys safer.
- Streamlining the funding process to make it more coordinated, seamless and transparent.
- Value for money – developing better approaches to achieve the best return on investment in transport.
- Building stronger partnerships to work towards better transport outcomes.
While the NZTA formally came into existence on 1 August, the process of combining Land Transport NZ and Transit will take some time. The services provided by both organisations prior to 1 August will continue, but as part of one entity.
The recruitment of the new senior management team – including group managers (based in the national office in Wellington) and six regional directors – is now underway. The appointment of regional directors will enable NZTA to better focus on regional needs. Until further notice all local Transit and Land Transport NZ offices remain open to provide services as the NZTA. Over time, these offices will be brought together to streamline the regions. It will be a gradual process and the timing will vary from region to region.
Review of cost allocation model
An independent review of the model for allocating costs of the National Land Transport Programme and how the associated charges are collected is being planned.
Transport Minister Annette King announced the review of the model and the method of collecting the diesel component of these costs in July.
“What I want, and what I’m sure everyone else wants, is a system of allocating the costs of building and maintaining our roads that delivers fairness to all road users – whether they are truckies, car drivers or public transport users,” Ms King said.
The independent review will feed into a wider Ministry of Transport review of how the transport sector is funded in the future to provide greater revenue and funding certainty.
Terms of reference are now on the Ministry’s website and members of the Review Group have been appointed. They are: James hill (Chair), Warren Young and Tony Gibson. A report back on the review of the cost allocation model is expected early 2009.
Trial Vehicle Scrappage Report
A trial to scrap old vehicles in Auckland has resulted in motorists making greater use of public transport.
The vehicle scrappage trial ran for six weeks over May and June last year and provided vehicle owners in Auckland with an incentive to trade in vehicles that were nearing the end of their useful life. A report detailing the results of the trial was released in August by Associate Transport Minister Judith Tizard.
“We know that older, poorly maintained vehicles tend to be less fuel efficient, emit more harmful emissions and become increasingly unsafe. This scheme was one way to assess how these vehicles could be best removed from our roads,” Ms Tizard said.
The programme targeted unwarranted vehicles, vehicles that wouldn’t pass their next warrant and those where the warrant would cost more than the vehicle. The aim was to see whether removing older vehicles from the road could, over time, help to reduce traffic congestion, enhance air quality, improve the overall safety of the vehicle fleet and encourage public transport use.
The public were offered two months free passage on all of Auckland’s bus and train services in return for handing in their vehicle. The only conditions of the scheme were that the vehicles collected had to be running and required a current warrant of fitness in the two months prior to being collected.
“Almost half of those who responded to a follow-up survey said the trial had encouraged them to make more use of public transport,” Ms Tizard said.
A total of 253 vehicles were scrapped in the scheme. The trial was a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Transport, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland Regional Transport Authority and the Broken Car Collection Company.
Safer Young Drivers guide
Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven has unveiled a resource that is set to change the way this country teaches young people to drive.
Mr Duynhoven released details of the resource in July at the annual conference of the New Zealand Institute of Driver Educators.
“This resource represents the most important development in the history of driver education in New Zealand and will revolutionise the way we do things,” he said.
Entitled “Safer Young Drivers: a guide to best practice education”, the resource was a key implementation of the Road Safety Education Strategic Framework, released by the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) in late 2006.
The guide, a joint effort between the NRSC and the AA Driver Education Foundation, has two key aims:
- To raise the overall standard of road safety education offered to young drivers.
- To help increase the likelihood that young drivers who participate in road safety education become better drivers.
It also formally recognises – for the first time – the real benefits of having an education system that uses qualified driver trainers. This, however, will inevitably put more responsibility on the driver education sector to:
- tailor their training to the individual needs of young people
- take into account the differences in skills and experiences for drivers from rural and urban areas and compensate their training accordingly
- take a participant-centred approach where the young person is actively involved and instructor works as a coach.
The guide also contains the latest research on international best practice, which recommends young people gain 120 hours of supervised driving under a wide variety of driving conditions and environments before they start driving solo.
In New Zealand the current level of self-reported supervised practice for learner drivers is much lower than this, at around 40 hours on average.
Analysis of road crash statistics reveals a clear message – the first six months of solo driving is the period of highest risk.
Male drivers in the 15 to 19 year old group are seven times more likely to crash than those in the 45 to 49 age bracket. Female drivers aged 15-19 years are about six times more likely to crash than their 45-49 year old counterparts.
The guide will enable all providers, including schools and community groups, to more effectively address inconsistencies in the quality and outcomes of young driver education programmes and develop and modify existing programmes.
Overview of new or amended transport Rules, Regulations, Bills and Acts.
Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Amendment Regulations 2008 – amendments:
- New penalties inserted for breaches of the prohibition on making false declarations under subclause 4.7 of the Land Transport Rule: frontal Impact 2001 (32006/1).
- New penalties inserted for breaches of the prohibition in subclause 6.4(1A) of the Land Transport (Road user) Rule 2004 (61001) against parking in areas reserved for disabled persons.
- Infringement penalties decreased for breaches of subclauses 7.4(1) and (2) and 7.12(1) and (7) of the Land Transport (Road user) Rule 2004 (61001), which relate to noisy vehicles and driving or riding without a securely fastened approved helmet.
- Demerit points increased or inserted for the breaches mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
- Infringement fees omitted for breaches of subclause 11.8(1), (3), and (4) of vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 (35001/1) relating to vehicle identification numbers.
The two Maritime Rules below will come into force on 4 September 2008.
- Maritime (Portable fire Extinguisher) Amendment Rule (Parts 40C & 42B) – the amendments will assist the industry to carry the correct size and rating of portable fire extinguishers and the correct number of spare charges.
- Maritime (various Amendments) Rules 20-91 – minor amendments to Maritime Rules to correct errors in the text, cross referencing of rules in force, and to clarify issues that have been the subject of queries by the industry.
Full steam ahead for KiwiRail
KiwiRail was launched on 1 July, marking the transfer of New Zealand’s rail and ferry assets from Toll New Zealand into government ownership. The launch took place at the Wellington railway station.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said the purchase of KiwiRail was “a major step forward in building a sustainable transport system for the 21st century”.
“With rising fuel prices and a sense of urgency in the fight against climate change, governments around the world are again looking to rail as a central part of 21st century economic infrastructure.”
Ms Clark said a modern and well resourced rail system would lessen the carbon footprint of New Zealand’s transport network.
A new KiwiRail establishment board will manage the services, pending determination of the final shape of the relationship between KiwiRail and ONTRACK – the SOE which runs the rail track.
Australasian Rail Safety Awareness Week
A collection of hard-hitting television advertisements and rail safety campaigns aimed at school children were just a few of the activities that marked the annual Australasian Rail Safety Awareness Week in July.
The week was launched at Rolleston School near Christchurch on Monday 21 July, with the aim of improving safety at rail crossings and reducing trespassing on rail tracks.
This, the second annual Australasian Rail Safety Awareness Week, continued the close working relationship that exists between New Zealand and Australia as both countries grapple with the same rail safety issues.
A series of Australian-made advertisements featuring accident scenarios at level crossings and illegal track crossing appeared on New Zealand television throughout the week to reinforce the message that the rail network and trains must be treated with respect. An awareness-raising campaign also ran on radio networks and billboards throughout the country.
Since 2003 there have been 86 fatalities on the New Zealand railway. Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven said rail operators, rail track managers and roading authorities do what they can to prevent crashes, but it is also important for the local community and individuals to take responsibility for safety at rail tracks.
A number of events were run throughout the week, including visits by former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns to schools in Huntley, Ngaruawahia and Auckland. Rail heritage operators also supported the week with open days and excursions in Christchurch and Dunedin. The Police held rail safety campaigns with school children in Wellington and Auckland.
New Zealand’s Rail Safety Awareness Week was a joint effort involving ONTRACK, KiwiRail (formerly Toll NZ), Veolia Transport, Ministry of Transport, Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Chris Cairns foundation and the NZ Transport Agency’s Rail Regulatory unit.
Progress on the Pathway – an update on the Sea Change Action Plan
A new Seafreight Development unit has been created within the Ministry of Transport to steer government and industry towards increasing sea freight’s share of inter-regional freight.
The unit was established in March to provide a ‘visible focal point’ for implementing the Sea Change strategy. At the helm is Mike O’Rourke who joined the Ministry with extensive experience in the shipping and ports industries.
“Mike’s appointment to the role has helped bring the Sea Change workstreams together and keep them moving. he also provides an essential interface between government and the sea freight industry,” said Margaret Mabbett, the Ministry’s Manager Maritime.
The unit’s work includes convening the sector reference group – representing local and international shippers, ports, maritime unions, and cargo owners.
“This group has provided vital advice in developing the Sea Change strategy and continues to do so,” Dr Mabbett said.
Sea Change sets out an action plan towards reaching the target of increasing shipping’s share of freight movement by 2040 – from the current 15 percent to 30 percent of interregional freight. Getting there requires a number of steps or workstreams.
One of these, and a critical focus for the unit, is improving processes to collect and make available useful information. A pilot information programme is being tested, working with ports.
Contributing to the information gathering is a national freight Study. Reporting in September 2008, it collates New Zealand’s freight information for the first time to help ensure future policy decisions are fully informed. The study will address knowledge gaps in the movement of freight into, out of and around New Zealand – and what demands future freight growth will place on transport infrastructure.
Port policy issues will also receive priority over the next three years. The Ministry is currently scoping a work programme.
“The original Sea Change discussion document attracted a lot of comment about integrating the supply chain and the central role of ports,” Dr Mabbett said.
Seafreight Development unit manager Mike O’Rourke said a revitalised sea freight industry needs more skilled people. Building on the capability of the industry workforce is also part of the action plan.
“Industry and employee organisations and government agencies are already working together with the Ministry on this important area,” said Mr O’Rourke.
The Ministry has also commissioned shipping consultants Thompson Clarke to provide a study of future labour requirements for the shipping industry.
Improving access to funding for sea freight initiatives is another vital workstream.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will soon release guidelines on funding for domestic sea freight activities. These will set out how to apply for the additional $6 million announced by the Minister.
Heavy vehicle productivity trials
A Ministry-led project trialling a controlled permit system allowing trucks to carry heavier loads is underway around the country.
The trials were launched in May at participating company Canterbury Waste Services Ltd by Agriculture, forestry and fisheries Minister Jim Anderton on behalf of Transport Minister Annette King.
Road transport companies from across the industry are taking part in the six-month project, carrying loads of up to 50 tonnes – an increase on the 44 tonnes currently allowed by law.
Many vehicles operating on New Zealand roads already have the capacity to carry more than 44 tonnes and it is these vehicles that will be involved in the trials.
“If New Zealand’s economy is to continue to grow, efficiency in moving goods on the road needs to improve,” Ms King said.
“Already, 66 percent of all freight moving around the country is carried on our roads. With these kinds of projections, it is clear now is the time to find innovative ways to optimise our transport system.”
The heavier vehicles will meet all current safety standards. Any vehicle issued with a permit to operate at a heavier weight is required to have a specific brake check completed (to ensure that its braking system is appropriate to the load being carried) before a permit is issued.
“This permit system has the potential to improve road freight efficiency by consolidating loads and reducing the number of vehicle movements required to distribute the same amount of freight,” said Ms King.
The trials will also be an important step towards working hand-in-hand with the government’s initiatives to support sea and rail freight objectives.
During the trials the Ministry will be measuring emissions from both heavier and existing trucks to assess if there is any measurable or significant difference in emissions of CO (Carbon Monoxide), CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) and some particulates.
The Ministry will also be measuring noise and vibration impacts from heavier vehicles and safety and road maintenance implications.
Surveys into motorist perceptions about trucks and of truck drivers’ perceptions of other motorists are also being undertaken.
Compulsory third party vehicle insurance
Submissions have now closed on a discussion document looking at the introduction of compulsory third party vehicle insurance.
Transport officials are analysing the submissions received following the release of a discussion document in June.
Transport Safety Minister harry Duynhoven released the document seeking information on vehicle insurance in New Zealand. The intention was to gauge public opinion on seeking a compulsory third party scheme, which would require all motor vehicles to be covered with at least third party insurance.
figures show about a quarter of all vehicles in New Zealand are not insured.
Mr Duynhoven said the insurance industry estimated the cost of uninsured motorists was between $53 million and $85 million each year.
“At present, those who have vehicle insurance are paying for the costs of all motorists through their insurance premiums. Motorists will still be able to choose to have comprehensive insurance to cover damage caused to their own vehicle and property in a crash,” Mr Duynhoven said.
“A compulsory third party regime would address issues of equity and road safety. At-fault insured motorists would be protected against potentially hefty costs in the event of a crash and responsible drivers wouldn’t be left out of pocket.”
Mr Duynhoven said compulsory third party insurance would also be a major incentive in getting people to take greater responsibility for their driving behaviour, especially younger drivers.
An analysis of submissions will be presented to the Minister of Transport and the Minister for Transport Safety in October.
New Zealand Transport Strategy 2008 (NZTS) and the first Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport Funding
These two key documents set defined targets for the transport sector, as well as actions to achieve these targets over the next 30 years.
An accompanying Transport Monitoring Indicator Framework measures progress against the objectives, sector outcomes and targets in the NZTS and the GPS.
Trial Vehicle Scrappage Report
This internet-only report released on 1 August publishes details of a trial vehicle scrappage scheme run in Auckland last year from 14 May to 30 June.
New Zealand Road safety Research 2007
This is a summary of all reported research on any aspect of road safety being undertaken or completed in New Zealand during 2007. The report is one in an annual series of internet-only road safety research summaries.