The Minister of Transport has asked the Ministry to undertake a review of the New Zealand Transport Agency to provide an independent assessment of the Agency’s regulatory functions.

In late September 2018, the NZ Transport Agency’s Board raised concerns that the Agency’s regulatory function was not performing as it should be. The concerns principally related to a backlog of regulatory compliance cases that had not been appropriately managed.

Cases within the backlog were across the NZTA’s regulatory function, including vehicle certifiers, training course providers, licensing agents, road transport operators and drivers. The scale of businesses and people affected by the performance issues is significant given the nature of the agency’s regulatory function.

Ministry review of NZTA performance

This review will look at how the NZTA is delivering governance, leadership, and capability and the balance of education, engagement and enforcement across their regulatory role.

It will look at the overall operation and performance of the NZTA’s regulatory function. The review will specifically focus on looking at whether they are performing as an effective, risk‑based regulator.

The review will also assess the contribution of a wider set of potential factors that may have affected performance in the agency regulatory function including governance, leadership, capability and the balance of education, engagement and enforcement. 

The scope of the review will look into the issue of effective oversight of NZTA’s management of the motor vehicle register. This follows a request to the Minister of Transport from the State Services Commissioner as a result of the investigation into the use of external security consultants by government agencies.

The Ministry of Transport is leading the review, and we have engaged Martin Jenkins to provide external support with parts of it. The terms of reference for this review are available here.(external link)

The review is in its early stages and is due to be completed by the end of March 2019. 

If you have information that you believe should be considered as part of the review, you can send it to the following address:

Statement from Peter Mersi on Review of the Ministry’s role as monitor of NZTA

The Ministry also has a key role to play as the monitor of NZTA. I want to be sure that the Ministry’s performance as the monitor is also assessed, so that the Ministry’s monitoring role can be as effective as possible. 

I have asked an independent consultant, Martin Jenkins, to undertake an assessment of the Ministry’s monitoring role. The review will consider the Ministry’s performance of its monitoring function against best practice monitoring expectations in the public service, in regard to the monitoring of NZTA’s performance of its regulatory function.

I recognise it is important this review is independent. To ensure appropriate transparency and independence, as stated above, an external consultant has been commissioned, the Terms of Reference for the review have been agreed with the Minister of Transport, and the report will be provided directly from the consultant to, the Minister of Transport, the State Services Commissioner and to me as the Chief Executive.

This approach is consistent with similar reviews of functions within agencies in the public service.

I am deliberately using the same reviewer that is being used for the review of the NZTA. This is to ensure that if any insights about the Ministry’s monitoring role come from the broader review these can be captured by the consultant.

The terms of reference for this review are available here [PDF, 144 KB]

Peter Mersi

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