First of all, I am really pleased to have been asked to assist the Ministry through the period of changing Chief Executives. Alan Thompson has led the Ministry through a period of significant change to the transport sector. It is typical of Alan’s leadership that the place is in good shape and pressing on with its major change projects. Alongside the appointment of a new Chief Executive, there’s much to be done in the second half of this year. This issue of MOTivate highlights major areas of work – challenges, new developments and also achievements.
On 20 May the Minister of Transport Annette King launched the final domestic sea freight strategy, Sea Change. This is a major landmark for collaborative relations between government, industry, and the regions. The injection of funding for coastal shipping signalled by the Minister should also help to keep momentum going as well as streamlining the processes to access funding.
Transforming coastal shipping is part of the pathway towards a sustainable, integrated transport system. This, and the theme of collaboration, echo through all the work at the Ministry and are reflected in the stories featured in this issue of MOTivate. In July, the updated New Zealand Transport Strategy (NZTS) will be released, providing a high-level transport strategy for the wider transport sector through to 2040. It includes targets and an action plan and we will need to keep working with all transport stakeholders as this strategy is implemented.
However strategic plans cannot work by themselves and need priorities and shorter-term actions to work towards.
As a result of the Next Steps review, (and the subsequent Land Transport Management Amendment Bill), the first Government Policy Statement (GPS) for the land transport sector is due for release in July. The GPS looks at how funding can best be used to achieve the targets set out in the NZTS and will stress the importance of combining land use with transport development.
As the GPS is to be renewed every three years, we will continue to work with stakeholders on where government expenditure priorities should be and how much funding is needed.
The GPS will provide a framework for local authorities as they develop their transport programmes to submit to the new transport agency that also comes out of the Next Steps review. The proposed New Zealand Transport Agency (which would see Land Transport New Zealand and Transit combine) is due to start up on 1 July, with Geoff Dangerfield at the helm as Chief Executive. The Ministry has been putting together the framework for how the new agency will be accountable for its funding.
Also under the Next Steps review, the Ministry of Transport was asked to look at its capability, and consultants Martyn Jenkins have reported on how it could enhance its capability. While the report shows the Ministry’s performance and reputation have improved, there is still work to be done. As with the wider transport sector we are striving to ensure effectiveness and value for money.
It is an exciting time for the transport sector and I look forward to continuing my work in the sector, with this move from Land Transport New Zealand to the Ministry.
Acting Chief Executive
Exhaust emissions put to the test
Associate Transport Minister, Judith Tizard, got a first-hand look at the test used vehicles entering New Zealand have to undergo to ensure they meet tough new exhaust emissions standards.
Associate Transport Minister, Judith Tizard watching as the temperature probe is inserted into the oil in the engine to make certain the engine in the right temperature for the test to be performed.
The introduction of the Land Transport Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule earlier this year requires all imported new and used vehicles to comply with minimum emissions standards. As well as this, used vehicles now also have to be physically tested to ensure their emissions control equipment is working effectively before they enter the fleet.
“Vehicle emissions are being targeted through a range of initiatives – the vehicles in the fleet, the fuel used to run those vehicles and the way in which those vehicles are maintained. The new Emissions Rule is a key part of the equation,” said Judith Tizard
On the way to becoming carbon neutral
The Ministry recently completed two important steps towards becoming a carbon neutral public service agency.
As part of the Carbon Neutral Public Service programme, the Ministry has released its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory and a plan outlining how it will reduce these emissions.
Six lead public service agencies have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2012, while the other 28 (including the Ministry) will be on the path to carbon neutrality by 2012. The programme will help them measure their emissions and identify ways to use resources more efficiently.
The Ministry’s emissions inventory showed that 65 percent of our emissions come from air travel (split fairly evenly between domestic and international flights), with 31 percent from energy (electricity for lighting and appliances), three percent from business travel (excluding air travel and commuting) and one percent from waste to landfill.
While our emissions from air travel are fairly high, some international travel will always be necessary to fully represent New Zealand at forums overseas and protect our economic interests.
The challenge is to improve the efficiency of travel practices, so a travel plan is being developed to reduce the Ministry’s transport emissions as well as the social and economic impacts of workplace-related travel. The plan will include measures to improve our choices about whether we travel and, if we do, how we travel.
The Ministry is already encouraging staff to travel sustainably by providing storage for bikes, showers, video conferencing facilities and bus timetables at reception.
Other key actions in the Ministry’s emissions reduction plan include developing targets to reduce electricity use in our office buildings and improving staff management of waste (a waste audit has recently been completed and staff provided with new waste boxes).
Things we do well
- More than 90 percent of the paper the Ministry uses is 100 percent recycled and printers default to double-siding. We also have good recycling facilities in our kitchens and minimise water use with gadgets such as dual flush toilets.
- The Ministry’s head office has some energy efficient measures in place such as motion sensors to control some lighting, the use of energy efficient light fittings/bulbs and the placement of signage to encourage staff to turn off lights when not required.
- The Ministry has a very good commuting profile with the majority of staff using public transport to commute to work (only 15 percent travel to work in single occupancy cars).
An overview of new or amended transport Rules, Regulations, Bills and Acts.
Part 61 - Recreational Pilot Licence, signed 1 April 2008.
- Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact Amendment 2008 – This Rule makes changes to clarify the process for the importation of special interest (collectable) vehicles, immigrant’s vehicles, vehicles used in motorsport and some larger passenger motor vehicles. The Rules came into force on 8 May 2008.
- Land Transport Rule: Heavy Vehicle Brakes Amendment 2008 – This Rule makes a number of minor amendments to the Rule, including updating references to standards, prohibiting the use of packers in towing connections and clarifies use of ratings for curtain-siders and chassis ratings. This Rule came into force 28 April 2008.
- Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Rule 2008 – The Amendment rule makes a number of minor changes, but the substantive change relates to the removal of the requirement for overseas licence holders who are converting to a New Zealand licence, to sit and pass a theory test if they are from a country that is already exempt from a practical test. This will apply in relation to class 1 (light four-wheeled vehicles) and class 6 (motorcycle licences). This section of the Rule comes into force in September 2008.
- Land Transport Rule: Operator Safety Rating 2008. The Rule proposes to allow the Director to rate individual transport operators for compliance with safety requirements and publish these ratings. Comes into force by Order in Council (likely to be early 2009).
In this year’s budget, Vote Transport has received $2,666 million, up from $2,581 million in 2007. This figure excludes the one-off capital injection to create the proposed new crown entity, the New Zealand Transport Agency.
New funding will concentrate on the search and rescue sector (see story p6), the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Aviation Security Service, the MetService, public transport subsidies and two major regional development projects.
The Canterbury region will receive $33.5 million over four years for the Canterbury Transport Regional Implementation Plan. This land transport package includes a number of large roading and transport improvement projects around South Canterbury and North Canterbury and the greater Christchurch area, which is home to around 400,000 people.
Region-wide pressures driving the need for transport improvements include growth in farming, more lifestyle blocks within greater Christchurch, including Waimakariri and Selwyn and increased freight movements around the ports, rail network and Christchurch International Airport.
Regional transport development in Northland and Tairawhiti have also received Budget funding totalling $30 million over the next three years.
The Government has allocated $18 million for public transport subsidies to enable regional councils to provide subsidised public transport to SuperGold cardholders.
The Aviation Security Service received $14.9 million in capital funding over four years for aviation passenger safety and security infrastructure at airports.
The Ministry of Transport will also receive a further $2 million per year in operating funding. This funding will help the Ministry to manage the major new responsibilities under the Next Steps legislation.
Under the Next Steps proposals the Ministry will:
- develop Government Policy Statements (GPS) for the land transport sector every three years outlining investment in the sector
- review and evaluate work of Crown agencies
- evaluate the performance of the national land transport funding and management system.
Profile – Geoff Dangerfield
The head of the Ministry of Economic Development Geoff Dangerfield, has been appointed Chief Executive Designate of the New Zealand Transport Agency.
NZTA Chief Executive Designate Geoff Dangerfield.
Mr Dangerfield will take up his post at the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on its first day of operations on 1 July 2008, pending legislation. This organisation will bring together the functions of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand to provide an integrated approach to transport planning, funding and delivery.
Mr Dangerfield has a wealth of public sector experience, having worked with Ministry of Economic Development (MED) since 2001, where his role was to assist the government to develop and implement policies and services to create business environments that promote productivity growth.
Previously he was Deputy Secretary to the Treasury and from 1993 to 1995 he worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as an adviser on economic and fiscal strategy and Treaty settlements.
MOTivate met Mr Dangerfield and asked him some questions about his move into the transport sector.
What prompted your move into the transport sector?
Transport touches all our lives and is important for an effective economy and well functioning communities. I was attracted by the opportunity to lead an organisation that delivers important services to the sector and that can help shape the sector’s future development.
What qualities are important to bring to this new role?
Working with others is the key. The new Agency needs to have effective relationships with many players in the sector and with users, so I will be working to ensure those are developed and enhanced. There is a big organisational leadership job to be done to integrate the two existing organisations into one Agency that combines the best of both.
In what ways do you think your knowledge and experiences at MED will help you be effective in your new role?
The past seven years at MED has been the opportunity to lead and integrate approaches to improve our international competitiveness, and to work with many stakeholders to ensure those approaches are effective. It has also been an opportunity to harness the combined expertise of a diverse set of policy and delivery functions within MED. I see the challenges in leading the new NZ Transport Agency to be pretty similar.
What are you looking forward to most about your new role?
Getting started. I’m keen to get on with building the new Agency and am very mindful of the fact that existing organisations have very full work programmes that need to continue to be delivered. I am looking forward to meeting more of the staff (I’ve already started!), and the many people involved in shaping the future of the sector.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the government transport sector right now?
The direction of change looks pretty clear – building the adaptability and responsiveness of the sector to meet the environmental sustainability challenge and keeping our eye firmly on value for money. For the government transport sector the challenge is to ensure the various parts work cohesively together and with some urgency.
Rule to target noisy vehicles
Changes to the Vehicle Equipment Rule to target excessively noisy vehicles comes into effect on 1 June.
The Rule will cut excessive noise decibel limits for all light vehicles, as well as toughening up the subjective noise inspection criteria.
What this means is that people caught with noisy vehicles currently on the road are more likely to have to undergo a metered exhaust test and may find it harder to get a warrant of fitness if their car has a modified exhaust.
Additionally, cars and light trucks entering the New Zealand vehicle fleet after June this year will need to comply with a reduced noise limit of 90 decibels.
Further changes to the 1 June Rule are also proposed. The Government plans introducing a series of changes which will speed up the introduction of quieter vehicles and to penalise those who refuse to comply with the Rule.
These proposals target vehicles illegally modified to be loud and are designed to tackle the so-called ‘boy racer’ problem.
“The boy racer issue is a serious societal problem and the 1 June Rule and its proposed amendments aim to better control the actions of this group,” said Transport Safety Minister, Harry Duynhoven.
2007 Search and Rescue Awards
Search and Rescue representatives from around the country gathered at Parliament in April to celebrate the 2007 Search and Rescue Council Awards, hosted by Transport Minister Annette King.
Left to right: Briar Macken, Transport Minister Annette King, Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven, Lilah Foote and Rebekah Gee.
The awards also marked the 40th anniversary of the Wahine disaster.
Two volunteers who were involved in the rescue effort on the day of the Wahine disaster attended the awards and were publicly thanked by Ms King.
With no better audience to receive the news, Ms King announced additional Government funding for Search and Rescue to the tune of $8.4 million over the next two years - nearly doubling their current funding.
Ms King also drew special attention to the high volunteer involvement with Search and Rescue (more than 90 percent of the 10,000 people involved in rescue operations are volunteers!)with an additional $2.7 million allocated to look after this crucial area of the sector.
The funding will assist the long-term sustainability of Search and Rescue, while improving its capacity for coordinating and responding to large and difficult incidents.
The New Zealand Search and Rescue Gold Award was presented to lifeguards Lilah Foote, Rebekah Gee and Briar Macken from Pukehina Beach in the Bay of Plenty for their rescue of four people trapped in a boat after it capsized.
Ms King praised the lifeguards’ quick decision-making and cool heads under pressure.
“Their dedication to their jobs and commitment to their training served them well. If they had not responded in the way they did there could have been four lives lost,” Ms King said.
Motorcycle safety measures target high crash rate
The high number of motorcycle casualties on New Zealand’s roads is the focus of a package of safety proposals released by Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven.
The proposals target novice motorcyclists because these riders, a growing number in the over-30 age group, face the greatest crash risk.
“Since 2001, there has been a 28 percent increase in licensed motorcycles and this figure is expected to grow with rising fuel costs. But over the same period, there has been a staggering 80 percent increase in motorcycle casualties,” said Mr Duynhoven.
The measures include a proposal to restrict learner and restricted motorcycle licence holders to less powerful motorcycles. They also offer an incentive to novice riders to undertake motorcycle specific training and assessment as part of gaining their full motorcycle licence and put a cap on the time riders can spend on a learner licence.
“The emphasis is on ensuring novice motorcyclists are aware of the increased risk they face on the road and that these riders are well equipped for the responsibility of motorcycle ownership,” said Mr Duynhoven.
The public will be invited to comment on the proposed measures as part of the Land Transport Rules consultation process. For further details on the proposals refer to – www.beehive.govt.nz(external link)
Making a sea change
Sea Change is a voyage to transform coastal shipping in New Zealand – on a vessel crewed by government, industry and the regions.
At the Sea Change launch - Sam Buckle, Executive Director of New Zealand Shipping Federation with Transport Minister Annette King and Helen McAra General Secretary, New Zealand Merchant Service Guild.
The final strategy for Sea Change was launched by Transport Minister Annette King at the end of May. She said it demonstrated how, working together, all players could revitalise the domestic sea freight industry and its role in managing New Zealand’s freight growth.
The target is to increase shipping’s share of freight movement by 2040 – from the current 15 percent of the inter-regional freight load to 30 percent. As a pathway to this, an interim target has been set: 20 percent of inter-regional freight to be moved by sea by 2020. As we expect total domestic freight tonne-kilometres to double by 2040, this means a four-fold increase in domestic freight moved by ship.
New Zealand has long been under utilising sea transport as part of its domestic transport network. Now, however – given 21st century imperatives of climate change and sustainability – sea transport is now seen as a viable, cost effective and energy efficient alternative for moving freight around the country and hence, the sea change.
Trends in global shipping for larger ships and fewer ports visited, for exports and imports, are also driving a growing need for domestic feeder service services to carry goods to and from the major international ports.
The New Zealand Shipping Federation presented their Roadways to Waterways document to the Minister of Transport in 2006. The Minister asked the Ministry of Transport to advance work on domestic sea freight and set up a sector reference group to help prepare a draft strategy for public consultation. This was launched last November. Submissions on the draft came from a wide range of people and organisations with a common concern to improve domestic sea freight services in achieving economic and environmental goals.
The final strategy has been updated and amended in light of submissions and material from the submissions will be used in the detail of the action plan. The strategy addresses targets, the interactive nature of freight management to achieve supply chain needs, and issues around access to funding and ports and their related services. A number of work streams in the action plan are already well underway.
A focal point for much of this activity is the Seafreight Development Unit recently established in the Ministry. Acting as an interface between government and the sea freight industry, the Unit will have a special role in ensuring necessary information is collected and made available.
A workforce is key to growing the capacity of the domestic sea freight sector. Staff with the right skills and experience are needed on both ship and shore to operate vessels safely and ensure that freight is transported safely and effectively to and from ships. Industry and employee organisations and government agencies are already working together with the Ministry on this important area.
Ports are a central ingredient of the supply chain and issues relating to ports will be given further consideration as part of the Ministry’s policy programme.
The strategy has obvious linkages with other transport initiatives, and energy and environmental ones. Sea transport can contribute to the government’s target of halving harmful emissions from domestic transport by 2040 because sea transport is relatively energy efficient compared to other modes. However, there are other environmental impacts from shipping which will need to be managed.
So, Sea Change is not just about shipping. As the Minister pointed out at the recent launch, intermodality should be the way forward which means looking at alternatives and making intelligent use of transport modes. In relation to domestic sea freight, this mean integrating freight movement by ship with delivery to and from ports, by rail and road, on the basis of ‘best fit’ for a particular consignment.
Making a sea change will help realise the New Zealand Transport Strategy’s vision of an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable transport system. Sea freight makes sense in this bigger picture and will play a vital role in New Zealand’s wider goals of economic transformation and environmental sustainability.
Ministry of Transport Statement of Intent 2008-11
Our Statement of Intent 2008-11 outlines the Ministry’s priorities for the next three years. It explains the strategic context and environment we operate within and details our key projects and how we will achieve them.
Sea Change – A Domestic Sea Freight Strategy
Sea Change sets domestic sea freight targets – with the desired outcome of coastal shipping carrying at least 30 percent of all New Zealand’s inter-regional freight by 2040.
Vehicle Fleet Report
This web-based publication is a statistical breakdown of New Zealand’s vehicle fleet. The updated fleet statistics cover the entire road fleet, adding information on trucks, buses, motorcycles and road freight to the 2007 information that covered the light vehicle fleet.
Soon to be released…
The New Zealand Transport Strategy
This updated New Zealand Transport Strategy builds on the objectives of the original Strategy published in 2002. That Strategy described how the transport sector should contribute to the country’s broader social, economic and environmental needs. Its vision was that “by 2010, New Zealand should have an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable transport system”.
The revised Strategy provides direction for the transport sector for the next 30 years with defined targets, an action plan to achieve those targets and guidelines for decisions about funding allocations. It will be released in early July.