Sitting down to write Justin’s Transport Minute today it’s hard to believe it is the last one for the year already. And if you think you missed last week’s, you didn’t. Unfortunately I brought back an unwelcome present with me from my last trip to Wellington for the year - Covid.
This morning I met with Minister Michael Wood and personally thanked him for his strong advocacy at cabinet to get us a new temporary residency pathway for skilled drivers, announced this week. This critical immigration pathway for truck drivers was the direct result of strong lobbying by National Road Carriers. In October James and I met with Minister Wood to discuss the criticality of the driver shortage, along with Simon Bridges and Simon Moutter for Waste Management, and Ben McFadgen, CEO of Bus and Coach Association. We called for a rapid immigration pathway for truck drivers to urgently be created as the fastest way to provide relief to the critical driver shortage. The Minister has delivered, and in February NRC will be working with MBIE on the details.
This win is a great example of why the NRC approach of engagement with government is successful. We are solutions focussed, fact based and work collaboratively, and it delivers results.
A big thank you to Brett, James, Wayne and the team at Fulton Hogan for hosting us this morning at the launch of their first fully electric mobile asphalt crusher, the impressive Keestrack R3e.
This week the government have announced the removal of the RUC discount, from 1 February – take a look at the NRC advice here, with more detail to come in January.
On a very different note, last week I learned of the tragic death of Grant Wilson, who managed Terminal Operations at the Port of Tauranga. Just a few short weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Grant as he proudly showed me the port operations at Sulpher Point. His warm nature and zest for life were obvious, and it is hard not to think he was taken too early. My thoughts and prayers go out to Grant and his family, and those of you who were fortunate enough to know him.
It is a timely reminder for us all to take the time this Christmas season to enjoy having our loved ones around us.
Thank you for being part of a great year for NRC, enjoy the great kiwi summer break, have a good rest when you can and travel safe.
CEO | National Road Carriers Assn
DDI: +64 9 636 2951