Hon Simon Bridges to Chair National Road Carriers Advisory Group

“National Road Carriers is very pleased to confirm the Hon Simon Bridges will be partnering with NRC as Chair of the newly formed Transport and Logistics Advisory Group,” says John Baillie, Chair, National Road Carriers (NRC).

“Joining Simon are Jo Wills, Ian Newey and Pamela Bonney, who collectively bring together the strong industry experience and specialist knowledge required to create a robust dialogue to challenge the status quo.”

The NRC Transport and Logistics Advisory Group has been created with the purpose of having a platform to discuss some of the industry’s most challenging issues.

“Simon brings significant business, economic and transport experience to the role having been both the Minster for Transport and the Minister for Economic Development. His knowledge of the inner workings of Government and his background as a lawyer mean he has the ability run both a political and business lens over many of the issues the industry is facing,” says John.

A straight talker, Simon is not afraid of asking challenging questions.

"Questioning and challenging decision-makers on the direction on transport is going to be critical. Managing climate change is important, and it’s my view the industry is on board with doing its part to reduce emissions. But the view New Zealand can simply move away from road freight to rail and sea is simplistic in terms of how our supply chain and economy works,” says Simon.

“We need greater investment in New Zealand’s road and wider freight infrastructure. It needs to be a much higher Government priority because without ongoing strong investment New Zealand’s economy will simply grind to a halt.”

Jo is co-owner of the Hugo Group, a government relations expert, business strategy advisor, coach, and facilitator, and NRC representatives Ian and Pamela bring a range of industry, governance, and business expertise to the group.

“As an advisory member myself and in my role as a strategic business coach, I look to utilise the skills I learnt from my corporate experience and working with Government to help drive conversations that deliver clear business outcomes. This Advisory Group will provide NRC decision makers access to sound advice, different perspectives and provide counsel as the industry navigates the challenges and issues of the future,” says Jo. “I look forward to working with Simon and the team to shape up some of the issues affecting the transport industry and identify meaningful opportunities to affect change for the benefit of NRC members.”

“Ian brings strong experience from a transport career originating in the logging industry of Northland. Alongside his wife Shelley, Ian has run Newey Transport for 20 years,” says John. “Pamela heads up Customer Experience at L.W. Bonney & Sons Ltd and has worked across range of business sectors and adds a corporate lens to tackling and managing transport problems.”

“Being at the coal face of the industry gives me the opportunity to evaluate the issues from the same perspective as our drivers. On the road, I’m reminded now quickly the roads are deteriorating through lack of maintenance, and how many additional movements we must do because bridge restrictions on council roads mean bridges can’t bear the weight of our larger more efficient trucks.

“Lack of efficiency is one of transport’s biggest costs, but achieving efficiencies is our opportunity for greatest gain. We can’t keep putting prices up, that’s simply not sustainable. We need to look at new ways of doing things. And we need to ask ourselves where the greatest efficiencies might lie? Is it in electric innovation, improved technology to help increase productivity or prioritising investment in roading maintenance and bridge upgrades? These are the conversations I’m looking forward to having as part of the advisory group,” says Ian.

“Growing up in the industry and working for large corporates, reliant on transport and logistics, has taken me through the full spectrum in terms of understanding the importance of the industry and the challenges we face. A strong, globally connected supply chain is critical to ensuring businesses and consumers can access the products they need to live, manufacture, develop and innovate.

“A functional sustainable logistics network is crucial to the growth and success of our economy,” says Pamela. “Being able to be part of a group where the sole focus is on overcoming barriers and identifying practical, timely solutions for the transport industry is a real privilege.”

Once appointed NRC CEO will be the fifth member of the advisory group, with an announcement expected regarding this role in the coming weeks.