Message from the Chief Executive

Peter Mersi, Chief Executive

Peter Mersi,
Chief Executive

One of the first things that struck me when I took up my position at the Ministry in July 2016 was how busy the work programme had been. The achievements in the past financial year were significant.

The work programme made a good contribution to the Ministry’s support of Government’s transport objectives: supporting economic growth and productivity, delivering value for money and improving road safety.

The Small Passenger Services Review responded to new business models, prompting updates of regulations to make sure they are fit for purpose and flexible enough to accommodate new technologies. The Review recognised that technologies such as smart phones and apps have changed the way the sector operates. Because of the Review, outdated rules will be removed and an environment created where operators including taxis, ridesharing services and others can innovate, while protecting driver and passenger safety.

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Helping to ensure the right transport decisions are made in Auckland is one of the Ministry’s major strategic commitments. Ensuring Auckland’s transport system can provide for the major population and freight growth expected over the next 30 years is central to making sure the city remains a great place to live, work and do business. The Ministry plays a significant role in the Auckland Transport Alignment Project, which is creating agreement about a preferred approach for developing Auckland’s transport system over the longer term.

The Ministry is also working with Auckland Council to bring forward a joint business plan and formalise Government’s funding commitment for the Auckland City Rail Link from 2020. These types of projects are part of the role the Ministry plays in New Zealand’s vital transport developments.

The Ministry supports Government’s aim to encourage innovation and allow New Zealanders to enjoy the benefits of new technology as soon as possible. The Intelligent Transport Systems Technology Action Plan 2014—18 has notched up an impressive list of completed actions and information-sharing events. After the release of well-received Guidelines for Testing Autonomous Vehicles in New Zealand, the Ministry received a number of enquiries about testing.

In the future, we may see other smart technologies such as connected and autonomous vehicles on our roads. The Ministry will continue to provide leadership so that New Zealand has the right building blocks in place to introduce new technology when it becomes available.

The Ministry is providing cross-agency leadership for a range of measures in the Government’s ambitious Electric Vehicles Programme. The aim is to double the number of electric vehicles on New Zealand roads each year to reach 64,000 by 2021.

I’m excited by these forward-looking projects, and by the Ministry’s strategic focus in the transport sector. This year we undertook projects focused on how regulation might need to evolve to meet future challenges, and the radical possibilities for public transport and mobility by 2045. These two projects are helping to stimulate discussion with a wide group of interested stakeholders about the future for transport.

To support this ambitious work programme, the Ministry needs to engage effectively with our stakeholders, have strategic policy capability and deliver high quality policy advice. This year the Ministry built on the success of its two-year transformational programme across these areas with initiatives such as the top ten priorities and key deliverables, announced on a quarterly basis.

To make sure we have the right people in our roles, the Ministry set out to deliver an ambitious recruitment programme to address a number of vacancies by the end of the calendar year. In a tight labour market, we are making good progress.

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Advancing the long-term vision for the transport sector

As the steward for the transport system, the Ministry has an important role to look ahead at the longer-term challenges for transport, and make sure the transport system develops in ways that support New Zealand to achieve its longer-term goals.

Our strategic policy projects help drive our approach to the future, and are designed to challenge the boundaries of current thinking, and promote deep and sustained thought, research and analysis about transport and its relationship with the economy, society and environment.

In 2015/16, we worked on our second set of strategy projects, which aim to further improve our skills and understanding of the sector and its future needs. The projects are:

Regulation 2025 – How should transport be regulated in 2025?

Public Transport 2045 – looking thirty years ahead to discuss the long-term future for public transport in New Zealand

Understanding future trends, influences and changes in society that will impact on the New Zealand transport system is an important aspect of our strategic leadership. This programme of work engages with our partners in the transport sector and other government agencies in workshops and advisory groups.

In 2015/16, we made significant progress on our two major strategic projects. The progress made is outlined below:

Regulation 2025

In its stewardship role in the transport sector, the Ministry works across the sector to consider whether the regulatory system is fit for purpose and what opportunities exist for improving regulatory outcomes.

Transport also operates in a dynamic environment, with increasing constraints on parliamentary time for making regulation, pressure to reduce regulatory costs and new technologies that change the regulatory environment.

To make sure New Zealand has a fit-for-purpose regulatory system for the future, which contributes to a thriving New Zealand economy, the Ministry initiated the strategic project – Regulation 2025 – to look at: How should transport be regulated in 2025?

In 2015/16, the Ministry:

  • produced and published six foundation research papers to provide a foundation of knowledge
  • held a series of stakeholder workshops
  • developed scenarios to help answer the questions – how would transport change over each mode – how would transport regulation change as a result?
  • developed a series of findings, looking at aspects in common across the scenarios.

In 2016/17 the project will:

  • develop the presentation story for the launch in August 2016
  • engage in New Zealand and internationally to explore the implications of the work for New Zealand. This includes a joint International Transport Forum and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation session and a workshop at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in October 2016.

Public Transport 2045

This strategy project is looking thirty years ahead to consider the long-term future for public transport in New Zealand. The PT2045 project aims to improve the sector’s collective understanding of the possible future developments and implications for transport policy, regulation, planning and investment.

In 2015/16, PT2045 produced a series of foundation reports that examined different aspects and influencing factors related to the development of public transport. These papers were commissioned to stimulate thinking and debate in the early stages of the project. Two of these papers were published on the Ministry’s website.

These papers provided a foundation for workshops, working sessions and interviews with stakeholders. This engagement allowed the PT2045 team to collect, develop and analyse data on the future of public transport.

Data collected informed the development of four major scenarios to illustrate four unique possibilities for the future of public transport in New Zealand. The final report and completed scenarios will be launched in October 2016.

Next steps

In 2016/17, we will start work on the next set of strategy projects. The next one to be started in September 2016 will look at the impact of virtual access on patterns of mobility and urban design.

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Our contribution towards the Minister’s priorities for transport

The Government’s transport specific objectives include supporting economic growth and productivity, value for money, and safety and security. These objectives reflect the wider priorities that the Government has set out in the Business Growth Agenda and the Better Public Services programme.

The Business Growth Agenda includes a specific goal to raise exports from 30 to 40 percent of GDP by 2025. The transport system has an important supporting role in ensuring that the additional exports (and their associated input goods) are able to be moved efficiently and effectively around the country and internationally. The Government also has a focus on investing in modern infrastructure.

The Minister of Transport has set seven specific areas of focus for work to support the Government’s objectives:

  • delivering the Government’s transport commitments, such as the Roads of National Significance and Urban Cycleways programme
  • taking a multi-modal approach to deliver transport solutions, changes to Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Rule
  • Auckland initiatives such as the City Rail Link and the Auckland Transport Alignment Project
  • transport for the regions, this includes the Accelerated Regional Roading Programme
  • transport and technology, encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles
  • supporting the export economy, pursuing international air services agreements
  • safety, the implementation of Safer Journeys Action Plan.

In addition to our work under each of these specific areas, the Ministry has a programme of regulatory reform that will provide benefits across a number of the Minister’s key priorities, and deliver a system that is flexible and fit for purpose for 2016 and beyond:

  • the Regulatory reform programme
  • review of Civil Aviation Act 1990 and Airport Authorities Act 1966
  • review of the Maritime Transport Act 1994
  • improving the driver licensing system
  • improving regulatory planning and delivery.

The following sections provide the Ministry’s contribution in support of these key areas and regulatory priorities.

Delivering on the Government’s transport commitments

Government Policy Statement on land transport

The Government Policy Statement on land transport (the GPS) sets out the Government’s investment strategy for the land transport system. It includes the Government’s 10 year strategic and policy goals for land transport, as well as the funding direction needed to achieve them. The current GPS came into effect on 1 July 2015. It allocates $10.5 billion of land transport funding over the first three years and a total of $38.7 billion over its full 10-year life (2015/16 – 2024/25).

The Ministry developed and strengthened the framework in the current GPS, leveraging from 2013 amendments to the Land Transport Management Act 2003. This let us identify national land transport objectives, and present the expected results from land transport investment in a way that more clearly links with the resources allocated to achieve those objectives.

Under the Land Transport Management Act 2003, the Crown’s land transport investment strategy must be reviewed at least once every three financial years. The Ministry has commenced work to develop the next GPS and has established a monitoring framework to measure what is being delivered through the current GPS. During the next financial year, the Ministry will hold a series of regional engagement sessions throughout New Zealand with an intention to release a draft 2018 GPS for comment in mid 2016/17 and a final GPS in mid 2017/18.

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Taking a multi-modal approach to deliver transport solutions

Keeping the SuperGold card sustainable

The SuperGold card transport concession scheme (the Scheme) assists over 680,000 eligible New Zealanders to remain mobile and in touch with their communities. A Review was conducted in 2014/15 to ensure ongoing sustainability of the Scheme. In June 2015, Cabinet took decisions on the long-term sustainability of the Scheme. Those decisions included bulk funding to regional councils and considering the funding alongside the implementation of the public transport operating model, mandatory use of smart cards where available, lifting of the moratorium on new services (including criteria to allow new services to join) and capping funding on the five exempt services operating under the scheme.

During 2016/17 we will continue discussions between the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and local government to manage the transition to the new funding model. The Ministry will also begin work with the NZTA and local government before the next review in 2018/19.

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Auckland

Improving alignment on Auckland’s transport strategy

The Ministry of Transport has been working closely with Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the NZTA to develop advice on how Auckland’s transport system could best develop over the next 30 years.

Over 2015/16, the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) delivered two of the three key reports (the Foundation Report and the Interim Report) for the project. Through ATAP, the Ministry has engaged with the other agencies to develop an emerging strategic approach that finds that while ongoing investment in new road and public transport projects will clearly be needed, greater use of technology and in the longer term directly charging for road use will be required.

ATAP is on track to deliver its final report at the end of August 2016, and this will make recommendations on how to implement the preferred strategic approach, and on areas that require further work.

Auckland City Rail Link

In December 2015, Cabinet authorised the Ministers of Finance and Transport to enter into negotiations with Auckland Council with a view to bringing forward the joint business plan and formalising the Government’s commitment to provide funding for the City Rail Link (CRL). Once completed, the CRL will double the capacity of Auckland’s rail network, provide two new stations to access the central city and reduce the travel times for commuters.

The CRL is, to date, the largest transport infrastructure project undertaken in New Zealand. The Ministry has had to expand its horizons, both in terms of expertise and professional networks, to identify and address the Crown’s key risks. The Ministry is on track to provide recommendations in August 2016, to enable the Crown to provide greater funding certainty for the CRL.

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Transport for the regions

Transport and regional development

Major elements of the Ministry’s work on land transport investment have been targeted at improving road safety, delivering the Roads of National Significance programme and tackling urban congestion, especially in Auckland.

Over 2015/16, the Ministry has accompanied this with a range of policy initiatives that aim to ensure attention is also given to regional transport interests.

The Ministry’s major commitment has been in support of the Business Growth Agenda Regional Economic Development stream of work and the development of the related regional growth studies and action plans for Northland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne-East Coast-Hawkes Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, and the West Coast. This work has begun to:

  • set out long-term estimates of how inter-regional corridors will need to evolve in response to changing freight and travel demand
  • test how land transport investment frameworks can better recognise the value of, and accommodate investments to support, the tourist experience of travelling in New Zealand
  • better reveal the nature and extent of the investment that already goes into the transport networks outside our metropolitan areas
  • consider ways to recognise and respond to pressing transport issues that might get overlooked under a national focus on freight reliability and urban congestion.

The Ministry has ensured this work was closely coordinated with other projects. These include ATAP, development of GPS 2018, looking at urban development authorities and establishing the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Other work with the NZTA:

  • monitored demand for and uptake of the funding made available through the Regional Improvements activity class of the GPS 2015
  • confirmed funding for the second tranche of projects under the Accelerated Regional Roads Programme (ARRP)
  • identified which of the projects in the ARRP third tranche would progress to further investigation.

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Transport and technology

Electric vehicles

On 5 May 2016, the Government announced the Electric Vehicles Programme (the Programme).

The Programme was developed with the private sector and local government, and is a package of measures to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. It includes a target to double the number of electric vehicles in New Zealand each year, to reach approximately 64,000 by 2021. The Ministry provided policy advice on the Programme to the Minister of Transport over 2015/16, culminating in two Cabinet papers, considered in March and April 2016.

The Ministry has responsibility for the coordination and delivery of the Programme. This includes convening an Electric Vehicles Leadership Group to provide ongoing leadership for the Programme, and implementing regulatory measures under the Programme, which are:

  • extending the road user charges exemption on light electric vehicles until they make up two percent of the light vehicle fleet
  • introducing a new road user charges exemption for heavy electric vehicles until they make up 2 percent of the heavy vehicle fleet
  • enabling road controlling authorities to allow electric vehicles to access bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes.

The Ministry will continue to support other Government agencies, such as the NZTA, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, in the roll out of measures under the Programme. These include the creation of a contestable fund of up to $6 million per year to support innovation, supporting the development and roll-out of public charging infrastructure, and a joint public/private electric vehicle procurement initiative.

Intelligent Transport Systems

Intelligent transport systems (ITS) offer major opportunities to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of the transport system.

The Intelligent Transport Systems Technology Action Plan 2014–18 (the ITS Action Plan) outlines the Government’s strategic approach to ITS that will contribute to a safer and more efficient transport system for New Zealand. ITS apply information, data processing, communication and sensor technologies to vehicles, infrastructure and operating and management systems to benefit transport users.

The internationally recognised ITS Action Plan has 42 actions and covers all modes of transport. The aim is to ensure we have the necessary building blocks, such as leadership, a supportive regulatory system, data, standards and accurate real-time positioning systems, to enable ITS to be implemented in New Zealand.

In 2015/16, the Ministry, with support from a number of agencies progressed several pieces of work relating to the ITS Action Plan including:

  • completing the development of a framework for scanning transport legislation to identify unnecessary barriers to the testing and deployment of ITS in New Zealand supporting the ITS Leadership Group
  • a review of the vehicle standards map, which identifies technologies and standards that have the potential to improve vehicle safety and efficiency
  • guidelines for testing autonomous vehicles in New Zealand to support promotion of New Zealand as a test bed for new technologies
  • allocation of radio spectrum for connected vehicles
  • collaboration with Australia on ITS standards and positioning systems needed for the deployment of ITS technologies the commissioning of research on the data needed for intelligent mobility and the benefits, utilisation, challenges and the role of government in collecting transport-related data.
  • the commissioning of research on the data needed for intelligent mobility and the benefits, utilisation, challenges and the role of government in collecting trasnport-related data

In 2016/17 the Ministry will continue to progress the Action Plan programme of work and review and update the Action Plan to ensure that we are taking account of technology developments and focussing on the right areas.

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Supporting the export economy

Air services liberalisation

The Ministry leads the New Zealand teams negotiating the international air services agreements that increase New Zealand’s connectivity with the rest of the world.

New Zealand’s approach to air services liberalisation is set out in the International Air Transport Policy Statement, issued in August 2012.

In 2015/16, the Ministry negotiated eight new air services agreements, and amended three existing agreements. These agreements included countries from Europe, Asia and Africa. Airlines have taken advantage of rights available including starting new services from the Philippines, Malaysia and the United States.

In 2016/17, we will continue our focus on putting in place arrangements to allow code-share services which connect to new services to Houston and Buenos Aires in particular.

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Safety

Clear Heads

The Clear Heads review responds to a call from the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) for significant drug and alcohol regulation after a number of incidents, including the Carterton hot air balloon crash, in which 11 people lost their lives. The TAIC recommendation covered both commercial and recreational activities. The review intends to create a safer maritime and aviation sector for all participants.

In May 2015, the Ministry completed its public consultation and considered the submissions on the Clear Heads paper from the recreational boating, maritime, rail and aviation sectors and the public. After public consultation, Cabinet agreed to a suite of changes which includes drug and alcohol management plans with mandatory random testing for commercial aviation and maritime operators. The Ministry is drafting changes to the Maritime Transport Act 1994 and the Civil Aviation Act 1990 to incorporate provisions in those bills.

Drink-driving

In 2013, the Government requested a review of the sanctions for drink-driving. The Safer Journeys Action Plan 2013-15 also contained an action to promote the greater use of alcohol interlocks.

The Ministry led the review of drink-driving sanctions, alongside Justice sector agencies, the Ministry of Health and the NZTA. The review’s focus included collecting data about drink-drive offences, and an analysis of sentencing trends and issues. This included examining the extent to which sanctions, particularly the discretionary alcohol interlock sentence, are used.

In 2015/16, the Ministry provided advice on establishing a mandatory alcohol interlock regime. We also provided advice on an interlock subsidy scheme to support the alcohol interlock regime.

On 9 August 2016, the Government announced that it would put a mandatory interlock regime in place for serious and repeat drink-drive offenders. The Ministry is currently supporting the legislative process to implement the change. We are also working with other departments on the detail of the subsidy scheme.

Improving safety for drivers visiting New Zealand

As part of the Safer Journeys signature project to improve the safety of visiting drivers, the Ministry is working closely with the NZTA, New Zealand Police, Tourism New Zealand and others across the transport and tourism sectors, on several key initiatives. The work focuses particularly on the tourist regions of southern New Zealand. The project is significant for its extensive collaboration between government agencies and the tourism industry, which has enabled innovative ideas to be developed and implemented quickly.

The NZTA is project managing the work and with the Ministry and the industry partners has implemented a wide range of initiatives that reach people from the point at which they think about travelling to New Zealand right through to when they are on the road. We have worked collaboratively with the Chinese Embassy and welcomed their development of information for potential overseas Chinese drivers on our roads using Chinese social media sites.

The Ministry updated its annual crash fact sheet on overseas licence holders involved in crashes.

As overseas tourist numbers increase, the Ministry will continue to work with government and private sector groups to improve the safety of visiting drivers.

Safer Journeys

Safer Journeys: New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy 2010-2020 takes a Safe System approach to road safety in New Zealand. The National Road Safety Committee oversees the implementation of the Strategy through Action Plans, which identify the areas with the most potential to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

The third and final Safer Journeys Action Plan 2016- 2020, developed collaboratively by road safety partners across government, was released in May 2016. It recognises there is significant work already underway from the previous two Action Plans, but a number of areas remain which would benefit from renewed focus. In particular:

  • enabling smart and safe choices on the road
  • making motorcycling safer
  • ensuring roads and roadsides support safer travel and
  • encouraging safer vehicles.

The success of the Action Plan relies on road safety partners, industry, and the community working effectively together. Implementation of the Action Plan is under way, and it is expected in the long term that the actions will significantly reduce the number of people dying and suffering serious injuries on our roads.

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Other Ministry key initiatives

Review of the Maritime Transport Act 1994

The Ministry is in the process of amending the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (the Act). This includes measures to give effect to international conventions that give us greater access to compensation and greater financial protection from maritime incidents. Other changes will improve flexibility of rule making and allows regional councils to keep the infringement fees from national maritime rules. Drafting instructions were completed and we are now progressing with the Bill and it should be introduced in Parliament in September 2016.

The Bill will include the changes to give effect to Cabinet’s Clear Heads decisions for the maritime sector.

Regulatory reform programme

The Ministry has a stewardship obligation to ensure we have a regulatory system that is fit for purpose therefore, annually; we produce a regulatory reform programme.

The Regulatory reform programme is an annual process that includes an environmental scan and the development of a Four Year Regulatory Plan (the Plan). Key components of the Plan are the rules development programme, legislative programme and approach to monitoring and evaluation.

In 2015/16, the Ministry had a workshop with the maritime industry group and approached local government transport managers to offer an online forum for regulatory proposals, produced the Plan and introduced a trial of contestable funding for rules development – designed to make best use of funds and increase transparency.

Regulatory changes commonly involve a mix of monetarised and non-monetarised costs and benefits. An assessment of 18 regulatory impact statements in 2015/16 identified monetarised benefits of $61.02 million per annum on average for 20 years.

The Ministry will continue its stewardship responsibility with the development of the next Four Year Regulatory Plan. It will work with local government on the environmental scan and the Ministry of Justice to reduce the number of transport related offences that go through the courts.

 Review of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and Airport Authorities Act 1966

The Ministry has reviewed these Acts to make sure they are fit for purpose, given the significant changes in the aviation environment and the approach to regulation during their life spans.

In 2015/16, the Ministry finalised policy advice on all the issues identified in the Review. We provided final policy advice to the Minister of Transport on issues that require legislative change from a safety, security and economic perspective. A Cabinet paper has been prepared to obtain policy approvals for the relevant amendments to the Acts.

We expect to obtain Cabinet approval later in 2016. The Parliamentary Counsel Office will then draft a Civil Aviation Reform Bill. We expect the Bill to be introduced in 2016/17.

Small Passenger Services Review

The Ministry began a review of the regulatory framework for small passenger services at the beginning of 2015, to ensure New Zealand’s regulatory environment is both fit for purpose and flexible enough to accommodate new technologies.

Policy development on the review was undertaken throughout 2015/16. This included public consultation and writing a summary of submissions received, which informed the Government’s April 2016 decisions on the review. The Ministry is currently working with the Parliamentary Counsel Office and the NZTA on drafting instructions. Decisions on the review will result in changes to the Land Transport Amendment Bill, various land transport rules, and regulations.

The rules are being developed in tandem with the Bill, which is expected to be enacted in early 2017.

Vehicle Dimensions & Mass Review

The Ministry and the NZTA undertook a joint review of the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Rule 2002 (the Rule). The work aims to deliver productivity improvements, greater regulatory efficiency and reduced compliance costs without comprising the road transport system and road user safety outcomes.

In 2015/16, consultation was completed on the discussion document. This included regional workshops in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch. Policy proposals on the content of the Rule were subsequently approved by Cabinet.

The Ministry released the draft of the Rule for consultation in July 2016. After consultation, a final version of the Rule will be prepared for the Associate Minister. It is expected that the Rule will be signed in late September 2016, coming into affect by the end of the year.

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Improving performance and leadership of the transport sector

To ensure that the Ministry can continue to deliver on the Minisrer's key priorities, the Ministry has a prgoramme of work focussed on growing the capability and capacity of the sector. This includes lifting performance, enhancing collaboration, and building long-term stewardship of the sector.

Strengthening our governance relationship

The Ministry continued to strengthen its relationships with the four transport Corwn entities. The Minister has a statutory stewardship role, in which the Ministry supports him through a number of functions. Our governance work has ongoing core functions of:

  • strategic engagement
  • stewardship advice to guide key stakeholders decision-making
  • evaluating of entity performance and capability
  • identifying key risks and potential mitigations
  • Board appointments.

In 2015/16, in addition to the ongoing governance role the Ministry facilitated the Board appointment process and regularly engaged with Crown entity Boards. These steps ensure that Board appointments are made effectively and efficiently.

Funding Review Porgramme

2015/16 was the second full year of the Ministry's consolidated Fees and Funding Review Programme.

The Ministry has identified all fees in the transport sector to develop a consolidated multi-year programme to ensure all fees are reviewed every three to five years. Fees and funding reviews ensure that there is appropriate cost recovery for government activities, so that services are delivered adequately and sustainably.

In 2015/16, four reviews were successfully completed:

  • Aviation Security Service pricing review (international security levy)
  • Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) midpoint funding review (funding for future incidents response capability)
  • funding for fuel excise duty refund administration and
  • interim funding for MNZ and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for health and safety.

Significant progress has been made on the oil pollution levy review and the CAA triennial funding review. These reviews will be completed in 2016/17.

The Search and Rescue funding review has begun and is expected to be completed in 2016/17 along with the rail fees regulation review and the motor vehicle administration review.

Improving Ministry performance

Following the success of its 2-year transformational programme that concluded in July 2015, the Ministry's focus for 2015/16 was to ensure its improved way of working was embedded in the organisation. To continue the momentum, three performance improvement goals were established to:

  • further strengthen our strategic policy capability and performance
  • deliver higher quality policy advice
  • engage effectively with our key stakeholders.

To help deliver on these performance goals, the Ministry has continued to build a structured programme of stakeholder engagement, with the strategic policy programme offering valuable opportunities to look beyond the issues of the day and discuss longer-term transport objectives. The Ministry regards every staff member as responsible for working with other organisations, and we were pleased to see the Rules Reduction Taskforce's recommendation that all Government departments should look to implement a stakeholder engagement approach similar to ours.

To help prioritise its work and deliver high quality policy advice, the Ministry developed a programme of top ten priorities and key deliverables for each quarter - a mix of Ministry-driven goals and Ministerial expectations. The top ten priorities have helped to drive accountability, ensuring we deliver high quality policy advice on time in the area of greatest priority.

In November 2015, it was confirmed the Ministry would be moving to 1 Boulevard to co-locate with Statistics New Zealand from August 2016 as part of the Government's Wellington Accommodation Project Tranche 2 (WAP2). WAP2 works to enable the government to deliver better, more cost-effective workplaces.

We worked closely with Statistics New Zealand to leverage the opportunities offered by the new space to continue to transform the way that we work, with a focus on creating a mix of quiet, communal collaborative spaces that staff can use. The Ministry completed the move to 1 The Boulevard in August 2016.

Working across the transport sector

Collaboration and capability

The Ministry chairs the Transport Sector Leadership Group made up of sector Chief Executives. The Group oversees delivery of the sector wide work on the Government's priority of Better Public Services, identifying and developing innovative ways for the sector to improve the efficiency and quality of services we deliver.

The Collaboration and Capability programme is one work stream of this. The Ministry took over leadership of this programme in 2015/16 for two years and established a programme management office to support the work.

The Chief Executives had identified areas of priority in 2015/16 - procurement, shared finance and/or payroll systems and accommodation. Progress on these areas is as follows:

  • Procurement - a procurement review identified significant potential savings that could be realised over a year.
  • Finance and payroll systems - work including an independent review determined that status quo was appropriate for the next three to five years.
  • Accommodation - work was overtaken by the Government's decision to relocate the Ministry's Wellington office.

A key focus for 2016/17 will be to realise the benefits identified in the procurement stream.

Transport Domain Plan and Transport Research Strategy

The Ministry, in conjunction with Statistics New Zealand, developed the Transport Domain Plan (the Domain Plan) and the Transport Research Strategy (the Research Strategy). The Domain Plan identifies the actions that need to be taken now to make sure that information and statistics collected about the transport system are high quality and allow Government to make evidence based policy, strategy and decisions into the future. The need for the Research Strategy arose when we jointly identified there was an overall lack of co-ordination between interested entities in the area of transport sector research.

Ultimately, the availability for better information will result in improved policy, strategy and decision-making and a more effective transport system.

The Domain Plan and the Research Strategy were published in July 2016. The key elements of the document included

The Domain Plan

  • identifying eleven topics of data, statistical and research interest
  • establishing enduring questions that need to be answered in relation to each topic
  • defining and framing the problems to be resolved in relation to each topic and enduring question
  • identifying the responses and likely actions required.

The Research Strategy

  • investing in the right research which includes the Triple-4 Framework for knowledge development and prioritisation
  • facilitating collaboration
  • ensuring visibility
  • accessing and investing in the right capability.

The Domain Plan and Research Strategy are complementary documents. Together, they provide the strategic direction we need to fill key data, information and knowledge gaps.

Working internationally

Asia Pacific Economic Coopertion

In August 2014, Nick Brown, General Manager Aviation and Maritime, became the Lead Shepherd (Chair) of the 21 member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group. The role gives the Ministry the opportunity to lead international discussion about transport.

The Working Group focuses on information sharing, promoting best practice in transport, and building the capacity of the developing economy members. New Zealand has contributed particularly around ease of travel, overall economic integration, and the promotion of women in transportation.

APEC transport ministers met in October 2015 and provided direction to the Working Group for the next two years. This included a directive that the Working Group undertake an internal review of its structure to ensure it is fit for purpose for the next 25 years. Nick Brown,as Lead Shepherd, is heading the review which will report on its recommendations to Ministers when they meet in the second half of 2017.

I thank Ministry staff for their commitment and hard work in delivering an ambitious programme of work in 2015/16. I look forward to next year, as we continue to help shape the future of transport in New Zealand.

Peter Mersi
Chief Executive, Ministry of Transport

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