Foreword from the Minister of Transport
The NewZealand transport system connects us to each other. It links us from our homes to our families, our workplaces and our social lives. Transport helps us get to where we need to be, and enables us to get what we need to carry out our daily life.
Our transport system also has a crucial role to play in supporting the prosperity of NewZealand. Trade is reliant on efficient and reliable freight movements within NewZealand and to and from our ports. Our tourism sector is also dependent on an effective and safe transport system, connecting our environment with the rest of the world.
To achieve a better connected NewZealand, the government has set out four main priorities:
- investment in infrastructure
- better quality regulation
- a safer transport system
- opening markets.
Investment in infrastructure
Transport infrastructure and services are vital components of NewZealand’s domestic and international supply chains, and an important enabler of economic growth. This government has invested substantially in the long term future of NewZealand to ensure that our transport infrastructure supports this growth.
Auckland transport is a major aspect of this growth, and we have announced plans to progress the next generation of Auckland transport infrastructure projects: the City Rail Link, the second Waitemata Harbour crossing, the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative and the East-West Link. We have also announced our intention to provide additional funding to accelerate key State highway projects that will address congestion, capitalise on the benefits of the Western Ring Route and improve access to Auckland airport.
Nationally, the seven Roads of National Significance continue to progress well, with one already completed. We are continuing to build our understanding of freight infrastructure, through the National Freight Demand Study and the Freight Information Gathering System which will enable better planning and use of our freight network. This government is also developing an Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan that sets our strategic aims for the use of technologies that will enhance our transport system.
This year we will issue a new Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. This will set out the government’s priorities for expenditure from the National Land Transport Fund for the next 10 years, and will come into effect in 2015.
Better quality regulation
Good regulation supports growth and minimises unnecessary costs and harm. This government has worked to reform the driver and vehicle licensing system, and during 2014-2018 we will continue to see warrant and certificate of fitness changes come into effect, as well as a new Land Transport Management Act and new Maritime legislation. We are in the process of reviewing the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and this will provide clearer and more accessible legislation for the aviation sector.
I will also be looking at how regulatory changes might ensure that the transport regulatory framework is well-placed to adopt technological advances.
A safer transport system
A safe transport system benefits us socially and economically. In order to improve safety on our roads we have continued to implement the second Safer Journeys action plan for the 2013-15 period, focusing on speed management and vehicle safety. We have also worked to reduce the blood alcohol limit for adult drivers, with the aim of making our roads safer, saving lives and preventing serious injuries.
Competitive and open domestic and international markets drive down costs and enable new opportunities for economic activity and social interaction. NewZealand currently has air services agreements with 64 states or territories. As part of our air services liberalisation programme, in the past year this government has negotiated new or enhanced air services arrangements with 18 states or territories. We are entering into negotiations for a further 8 new arrangements, and other negotiations will be pursued.
Responding to other issues
Unforeseen issues can arise in the transport sector (such as the 2010/11 earthquakes or the MV Rena grounding). I will continue to ensure that the Ministry of Transport and the transport Crown entities are well prepared to deal with any future transport emergencies, and have the flexibility to be able to respond to other changes in priorities that may arise over the next four years.
Ministerial statement of responsibility
I am satisfied that the information on future operating intentions provided by my department in this Statement of Intent and the Information Supporting the Estimates is in accordance with sections 38, 40 and 41 of the Public Finance Act 1989 and is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the government.
Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport