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Local Govt. Seeks Recognition In Transport Review

MEDIA RELEASE

Call for local government’s role in transport to be formally recognised in the Government’s Transport Sector Review

For immediate release on 20 February 2004

Local Government New Zealand is asking the Government to formally recognise the role of local government as a co-governance partner in the transport sector in its submission to the Government Transport Sector Review.

“We own 88 percent of the country’s roading network, spend $500 million per annum on local roads, govern, co-fund, manage and regulate transport. Despite these roles as a tier of government, we are not properly represented in any of the Government’s current transport governance arrangements,” says Basil Morrison, President of Local Government New Zealand.

“The Government is calling for a joint approach to transport and Local Government New Zealand wishes to have our vital role recognised. We have recommended that local government is represented on the boards of each of the transport agencies to reflect the co-governance role shared by local and central government.”

Joint transport development between the two tiers of government will also lead to a more integrated approach to transport. The co-operation and agreement on resolving Auckland’s transport issues show the value of joint policy and governance relationships and is a great example of what can be achieved if central government and local government work closely together.

The recommendation for co-governance is one of the key recommendations made by Local Government New Zealand to the Government Transport Sector Review.

“There are improvements which can be made in the provision of policy advice to the Minister. The current arrangement whereby each transport agency develops its own policy advice is inefficient and can at times, lead to conflicting policies. Our submission recommends that strategic policy advice is better co-ordinated across the agencies and encourages better information sharing. We suggest the Ministry of Transport is given a stronger mandate to lead and to undertake this function.

“We believe that the split of funder and provider functions, as between Transfund and Transit, should be retained but the relationship should be redefined to encourage a network approach to addressing transport issues.

“Finally we are suggesting closer alignment and greater integration between the transport safety agencies. There are currently four agencies involved in providing safety advice and functions. This leads to duplication of functions, and expertise, experiences and systems not being shared. We believe that closer alignment and integration of the safety agencies will lead to efficiencies and greater effectiveness,” President Basil Morrison said.

The Government’s Transport Sector Review was announced in December 2003 and is being carried out by the State Services Commission and the Ministry of Transport. The review aims to consider whether the government transport sector is best arranged and has the capacity to implement the New Zealand Transport Strategy and to carry its other requirements and obligations; consider ways to enhance the performance of the sector; and propose any necessary changes.


Ends

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