It was a warm welcome from members, and thanks to John Hickman and Mark Sorenson for the invitation and hosting. With more than 80 people in the room, I was very impressed to see the level of passion and engagement of the Taranaki road transport community.
Members are clearly invested in the industry and it’s future, and gave us plenty of questions, keeping us on our toes. It’s a pleasure to meet and talk with members who care deeply and are active in pushing for better industry outcomes.
Talking with members over a beer afterwards gives me a real sense of the realities of working in this industry, the challenges faced, and what they want and need fixed. That kind of input is gold for those of us doing industry advocacy.
The panel were asked questions around the roading conditions that we are all too familiar with up and down the country, and the structure of the industry associations. For roading, we talked about the positive signs that we are seeing, with sensible transport policies coming out from any party that wants a serious chance at winning the election. These are focused on getting back to basics on maintenance, funding and projects - a big leap forward.
With regard to industry association structure, we talked about how NRC is firmly outwardly focussed on meeting the multiple complex challenges coming at us as a sector. As we’ve said before, we can’t consider any change to the current structure until the RTAs get their house in order.
More than one association is not unique to road transport. Construction is a great example of a thriving industry with a multitude of associations. What matters is getting the message across effectively. I talked about how NRC along with our partner NZ Trucking Assn is making major headway with this, and we’ll continue to work with any association that seeks the best outcomes for the road transport sector.
Enjoy your weekend.