NZTA to ‘refocus on safety’

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Words: Nile Bijoux
10 Oct 2019

The Government is moving to “strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role” following a review into both the Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport.

An independent review by the Martin Jenkins consulting firm has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous government.

“It found that previous transport ministers had directed NZTA to focus on ‘building roads’ at the expense of keeping people safe,” Phil Twyford said. “Safety is our Government’s top transport priority and we’re getting the Transport Agency back on track.”

The review made recommendations to the Government, and all will be adopted and implemented as soon as possible. These include:

  • Creating a statutory Director of Land Transport who is responsible for carrying out the NZTA’s regulatory functions and powers,
  • Getting the NZTA Board to develop a new regulatory strategy,
  • Instructing the Ministry of Transport to update the NZTA’s regulatory objectives, functions and powers, and
  • Injecting up to $45 million into NZTA’s regulatory function.

“The Transport Agency has made good progress in the past year but these new changes, coupled with recent Board appointments, will make sure it will be a modern regulator, equipped for the massive changes the sector will undergo in coming years. The Board has been bolstered by new member Catherine Taylor who is an experienced regulator, brings risk management expertise and has worked for other Crown agencies and government departments.

“The review also found the Transport Ministry has now improved its monitoring approach after taking a light touch under the last government. I expect the Ministry to take a more active approach to overseeing all our transport agencies,” Twyford said.

The Government is also investigating designating NZTA as a health and safety regulator, and options to strengthen commercial vehicle enforcement. This work and the other recommendations will be completed by early next year.

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