Justin's Transport Minute

This week I’m getting seriously close to being able to count my time at NRC in months versus weeks – the last four weeks have flown by with a crash course on roading issues, a whirlwind of member meet and greets, industry leading announcements (HARMfree Transport) and this week we ticked off our first Transport and Logistics Advisory Group meeting chaired by Simon Bridges.

Our first Advisory Group delivered on everything it promised with some quality discussion on how we get to the core of the big issues facing the transport sector and accelerate working on solving the issues – essentially how do we move from talking to action.

Part of affecting change means we need to face some hard truths as an industry, we need to get better at communicating the value we add to the economy, and we need to help officials get future transport strategies right. Otherwise, the risk is that future investment in our roading will continue to equate to good money being thrown at bad investments.

We spent time assessing the refreshed NRC business strategy and discussed what focus areas should be prioritized, while running a lens over what key government and local government transport priorities need to be given consideration. There is strong recognition that we need to ensure our strategies can shape and align with government priorities – essentially, we need to be on the same playing field even if the game we might be playing is occasionally different.

We are also working on our submission to the Ministry of Transport’s Reshaping Streets consultation where they are proposing changes to the legislation to make it easier for local authorities (councils) to make street changes that support public transport, walking and cycling, and other street layout changes. Our focus during the consultation process is to ensure that commercial transport vehicles are able to continue operating effectively and efficiently, and that future changes don’t inadvertently restrict our industry’s ability to operate. We will share our submission with members once complete.

Lastly, no week would be complete without meeting more passionate NRC members. This week’s road trip with our Chair John Baillie took me to New Plymouth, south Taranaki, and down to Whanganui. We then travelled up through the Parapara’s to Raetihi and then through to Taumarunui in an EV which I have to admit did require some planning, along the way. Despite some considerable skepticism we managed to complete a round trip of 1000 kms without any major dramas, albeit it with quite a few charging stops – so I’m calling that an EV road trip success.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a large number of our members over the last couple of days, too many to list as we covered a lot of ground. Talking face-to-face with our members and hearing the issues affecting these regions has been invaluable for me.

Once again, thank you to everyone we met this week and for your hospitality, it was great to hear your thoughts and I’m looking forward to catching up again soon at regional meetings.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to drop me a line, details are below.

Justin Tighe-Umbers

CEO | National Road Carriers Assn

DDI: +64 9 636 2951 E: justin.tighe-umbers@natroad.co.nz

‘Supporting those who choose to make a living in the Road Transport Industry’ Since 1936