Foreword from the Minister of Transport
The New Zealand transport system plays an important role in our economy. It supports trade and tourism, and connects us socially and in our work. Our transport system also has a crucial role to play in supporting the government’s economic growth plans. The government’s aim is for a high-performing transport system that contributes to economic growth.
To support this aim, I have 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 New Zealand’s domestic and international supply chains, and an important enabler of economic growth. However, transport infrastructure is costly and may be in place for many years, meaning investments need to be carefully prioritised.
This government has initiated game-changing initiatives including the Roads of National Significance and the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan. We are now progressing the proposal for a new ferry terminal at Clifford Bay. The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding 2015 will be updated to ensure that government transport system investments are focused on the government’s priorities. There are other major issues the government will address such as the upper North Island’s (including Auckland’s) infrastructure and development, and developing an intelligent transport system action plan.
Better quality regulation
During 2013-2016, we will see warrant and certificate of fitness changes come into effect, as well as a new Land Transport Management Act and new Maritime legislation.
I will also be looking at reform of the driver licensing system, how regulatory changes might improve the quality of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet, and ensuring the transport regulatory framework is well-placed to adopt technological advances.
A safer transport system
A safe transport system benefits us socially and economically. We have made considerable gains in reducing our road toll, with last year seeing the second lowest road toll in 60 years. However, the social cost of road crashes is still high. For the year to June 2012, the total social cost of all motor vehicle crashes was approximately $3.7 billion. The second Safer Journeys action plan for the 2013-15 period will continue on with progress already made and focus on areas such as speed management.
More competitive and open domestic and international markets for transport operators and users drives down costs and enables new opportunities for economic activity and social interaction. Exploring the strategic choices of New Zealand’s port sector and the drivers of our export transport costs will help us to better understand what influences these costs. Additionally, we will continue our work in negotiating new and more open air services agreements with other markets.
Responding to other issues
Unforeseen issues can arise in the transport sector (such as the Canterbury earthquakes or the 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 are flexible to respond to other changes in priorities that may arise over the course of the next year.
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