During the year the Ministry delivered over 90 percent of its Output Plan as agreed with the Minister. On top of this programme of work, the Ministry also undertook a number of new initiatives that emerged throughout the year such as the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan, the SuperGold Card review and a number of value-for-money reviews.

The Ministry has also contributed to whole-of-government work programmes over the year. Some had significant implications for transport, particularly the Auckland Governance Reform, the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme, production of a National Infrastructure Plan and the Resource Management Act reforms.

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Enhanced value from government investment in transport infrastructure

The key achievements for the 2009/10 year that contribute to the Ministry’s outcome of enhanced value from government investment in transport infrastructure were:

KiwiRail Turnaround Plan

The Ministry provided transport policy support for the development and due diligence of the Turnaround Plan for rail freight prepared by the KiwiRail Group. The government supported the Turnaround Plan with significant funding.

Metro rail operating model

During the 2009/10 year the metro rail operating model for the Auckland and Wellington regions was developed and agreed by Cabinet. Work has since begun on implementing parts of the operating model, such as establishing track access charges for both metro rail and the freight business, improving the performance of the two present metro rail operating contracts, and assisting with the public transport revenue modelling project to determine appropriate fare and subsidy levels.

Auckland metro rail

During the 2009/10 year Cabinet approved a $500 million appropriation to develop new infrastructure and purchase new electric multiple units. The electrification of the Auckland network will help reduce congestion by providing more frequent trains at peak times. This is part of a comprehensive approach to develop Auckland’s transport systems.

Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Amendment Rule 2010

The Ministry led the development of a new amendment rule allowing for increases to the mass and dimension limits for heavy vehicles through a new permit regime. The aim of this Rule is to improve heavy vehicle productivity, which will be achieved by enabling more freight to be carried on fewer trucks. This will reduce road congestion, vehicle emissions and operating costs while growing New Zealand’s economy.

Freight information gathering system

The Ministry is implementing a national freight information gathering system that is centred on cargo movements through ports. A trial to record containerised freight data is underway at four North Island ports. The system will be rolled out to all ports in 2010/11 following the results of the trial. This will develop a clear picture for freight movements to guide future infrastructure investment decisions.

Improved performance of the transport system

The key achievements for the 2009/10 year that contribute to the Ministry’s outcome of improved performance of the transport system were:

Safer Journeys strategy

The Safer Journeys road safety strategy was launched on 3 March 2010. It sets a new direction for road safety, taking a Safe System approach with actions aimed at improving the safety of roads and roadsides, speeds, vehicles and road use. The Ministry led the development of the strategy, working with our road safety partner organisations and looking at research, evidence and experience in other jurisdictions. The views of stakeholders and road users have also been a major contribution. The Ministry held extensive public consultation on a Safer Journeys discussion document and received more than 1,500 submissions. Targeted consultation was held to ensure youth views were considered as young drivers are a significant road safety issue.

Since its launch, progress has already been made on a number of actions proposed in the strategy. The government has agreed to actions aimed at improving the safety of young drivers and reducing the impact of alcohol on road safety. These measures have included significant proposed changes for New Zealand such as raising the driving age, allowing the use of alcohol interlocks and tougher penalties for driving offences causing death. Work also began on the Cabinet paper covering motorcycles, the give way rule and additional young driver actions.

Work is progressing on further actions through five interagency groups addressing roads, speed, road use, vehicles and communications.

New road safety measures

A range of road safety measures came into force over the 2009/10 year. These included measures to address illegal street racing and new provisions to combat drug impaired driving. Rule changes included a ban on using hand-held mobile phones while driving and restrictions on the use of snow tyres.

Road user charges system review

In August 2009, the government announced its response to the independent review of the road user charges (RUC) system. Over the past year the Ministry has focused on proposals for legislative change to simplify and modernise the RUC system and reduce RUC evasion. In January 2010, regulations were made enabling the electronic display of RUC licences and the use of electronic distance recorders as an alternative to mechanical hubodometers.

Auckland governance

As part of a joint project with the Department of Internal Affairs, the Ministry led the work to set up the transport functions of the new Auckland local government arrangements. In 2009/10, policy advice was provided on the transport governance framework and the legislation needed to implement the framework was agreed by Cabinet. This included the establishment of Auckland Transport as a statutory entity and council-controlled organisation of Auckland Council with responsibility for local roads and public transport.

Public Transport Management Act

The Ministry led the development of a new operating model for public transport to achieve the government’s goal of growing public transport with less reliance on increased subsidies. The Ministry worked collaboratively with the sector to develop this model, with the key stakeholders agreeing to the public transport operating model in principle. The Auckland and Wellington regions are preparing to trial the model.

Cape Town Convention

The Ministry engaged with the aviation and finance sectors to obtain the government’s agreement in March 2010 to New Zealand’s accession to the Cape Town Convention and an associated protocol on aircraft equipment. By taking this treaty action, New Zealand becomes part of an international system to protect commercial security interests in mobile aircraft equipment. As a consequence, New Zealand’s aircraft operators will be able to access discounted finance internationally for future aircraft acquisitions or leases.

Improved performance of transport sector agencies

The key achievements for the 2009/10 year that contribute to the Ministry’s outcome of improved performance of the transport sector agencies were:

CAA funding review

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) funding review was progressed and draft consultation documents have been prepared. The six week consultation period is intended to begin in October 2010. The Sector Reference Group will work with the CAA to provide feedback on the submissions and the longer-term value-for-money work.

Value-for-money review of Maritime New Zealand

The Ministry and Maritime New Zealand are working on a joint project (the Maritime New Zealand Review) with the purpose of conducting a value-for-money review and a fuller review of the Marine Safety Charge. This project started in late 2009 and is scheduled to continue throughout the 2010/11 year.

Review of passenger security charges

A review of the Aviation Security Service’s passenger security charges commenced in September 2009, and new charges came into effect on 1 April 2010. The international passenger security charge was reduced from $15 to $10, and the domestic passenger security charge is reduced from $4.66 to $4.35 from the three years from 1 April 2010.

Review of marine safety charges

A review of the marine safety charge was completed during the year. Cabinet agreed to the reduction of the marine safety charge for cruise ships from $8.29 per passenger to $3.30 per passenger. This will be gazetted in early July and the new rate will come into force on 1 October 2010.

Driver licensing fees and charges

The Ministry completed a review of the driver licensing fees and charges with the purpose of rectifying the imbalance between revenue and expenditure. The final policy Cabinet paper was agreed by Cabinet on 24 May 2010 and the regulations to give effect to the fee amendments were signed by the Executive Council on 31 May 2010. The amended fees came into effect on 1 July 2010.

Building a more capable and responsive Ministry

On 1 September 2009 the Ministry restructured and committed itself to operating in a new way — as a professional services ministry. This move enables the Ministry to be more flexible, responsive and effective as the government’s principal adviser on transport.

The Ministry’s change programme Shaping our Future focuses on improving the Ministry’s performance by being more responsive to the highest priority policy issues for the government, improving productivity, and having more flexibility in allocating resources in the delivery of its annual work programme.

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