Justin's Transport Minute

It’s been a busy week on the political front with some positive announcements for the transport sector.

First up, Wednesday’s announcement from the Minister of Immigration and Transport Hon Michael Wood that the transport sector will be eligible for work to residence visas from 29 September 2023 is being universally welcomed across the industry. This change is a direct result of ongoing conversations by NRC, Bus & Coach, Waste Associations and NZ Shipping Federation with the Minister to highlight the urgent immigration changes needed to enable the sector to attract and keep much needed workers. Groups benefitting from the 2-year work to residence pathway, assuming they hold the relevant qualifications, include bus drivers, truck drivers (class 4 & 5 licence), ship’s master (skippers) and deck hands.

Yesterday, I attended the Prime Minister pre-Budget announcement event hosted by the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA). The Prime Minister’s personal focus is on ‘living within our means’ with new spending targeted towards longer-term economic goals – skills, science and infrastructure. The messages of ‘restraint’ in terms of spending were welcomed by the business community after witnessing what some call extravagant Government spending since Covid.

Treasury has estimated the cost of asset damage from the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle at between $9 billion and $14.5b and the Prime Minister’s view is that we need to ‘rebuild quickly and more strongly’. I asked the Prime Minister what he saw as the key changes needed to fix the roads? His response was that on top of the additional funding, we need to be carrying out maintenance at the same time as building new infrastructure into the network. As I said in my interview this morning with Corin Dann on Radio NZ, getting the funding is the easy bit working out how and where it is spent is key – and getting it done more efficiently and quicker needs to be a priority.

James flew the NRC flag last night at the unveiling of Holcim New Zealand’s new low-carbon cement replacement facility at the Ports of Auckland. The facility is designed to reduce embodied carbon from the construction of the built environment and was showcased in conjunction with Holcim’s new ECOPlanet and ENVIROCore lower carbon products. Every year around 1.6 million tonnes of traditional cement is used in New Zealand including across our road network. This is equivalent to approximately 1.3 million tonnes of CO2, by replacing cement with a product which has lower embodied carbon, but similar properties, construction-related embodied carbon can be significantly reduced. ECOPlanet can reduce embodied carbon by more than 30% compared to general purpose cement and the move illustrates some real progress in terms of helping Aotearoa move towards a low-carbon and circular economy.

Have a great weekend.


CEO | National Road Carriers Assn

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

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