Justin's Transport Minute

Weekly update from NRC CEO Justin Tighe Umbers

Justin's Transport Minute

Yesterday Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Minister of Transport Simeon Brown announced the end of the regional fuel tax in Auckland.

NRC welcomed this announcement (see here), as it is part of a broader play by government towards fixing the broken road funding model. This means change is coming for transport operators, not just in Auckland, but the whole country.

The government signalled a number of important and overdue changes to how we pay for roading:

• They are moving away from a fuel excise tax-funded roading to road user chargers based on kilometres and weight,

• They are casting the net beyond just road users to pay for roading (other funding sources through mechanisms such as time of use charging, public-private partnership investments, and value capture, where beneficiaries of new roads such as commercial property owners contribute),

• Councils wasting government funding on unproductive works like raised pedestrian crossings, under-utilised cycle lanes and traffic calming will no longer be tolerated, the free-spend party is over,

• Government is prioritising productivity and efficiency benefits delivered from roading projects, re-balancing their weighting with safety and emission reduction outcomes,

• This means roading infrastructure investments will be required to deliver productivity and safety and efficiency / emission reduction benefits, not just safety or emissions outcomes as we’ve seen over the last 6 years.

Many transport operators may be naturally concerned about what moving to a weight-based model might do to charging. The devil will be in the detail, but overall I am positive about the opportunities these changes will bring for the transport sector:

• A key principle must be that any charging model reflects that 93% of goods are delivered by road. Trucking needs to pay its fair share, but any overcharging distortions harm the entire economy,

• Casting the net wider so all beneficiaries of roading, not only those driving up and down the network, pay their fair share is good for road transport operators as the cost burden is spread,

• Prioritising spend on the fundamentals of keeping up with maintenance and essential new build, along with time of use charging will reduce congestion and detours –will deliver much better efficiency for trucking operations,

• Paying by weight and distance will mean customers pay true cost of impact to road, and fund a better roading network.

As always, NRC will be advocating strongly on your behalf to make sure the new model is fair, proportionate and delivers benefits to the essential road freight sector. We will be providing more detail on these changes as they come to hand to help members through – watch this space.

TMS Teletrac Navman Technology | Maintenance | Safety Conference & Exhibition Scholarship Announced

Lastly, this week we have launched a fantastic opportunity for those young superstars you have out there working for you. The upcoming TMS Teletrac Navman Conference & Exhibition on 13/14 March have announced a scholarship opportunity for young staff members you want to recognise and develop. The TMS Event Scholarship is open to top apprentices, technicians, H&S representatives, engineers, dispatch representatives, and others who are relatively new to the industry or show potential for growth. The main requirement is a desire to further themselves or benefit from exposure to the event.

Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to recognise and encourage the next generation of our industry.


Justin Tighe-Umbers

CEO | National Road Carriers Assn

DDI: +64 9 636 2951