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King: Public Transport Management Bill

Annette King

11 September, 2008
Public Transport Management Bill - speech

Speech to parliament fo the Third Reading of the Bill


I move that the Public Transport Management Bill be read a third time.

Madam Speaker, this Bill enables regional councils to require improvements to New Zealand’s public transport system.

Regional councils will be empowered to impose greater controls over commercial (non-contracted) public transport services. The Bill also provides a mechanism enabling regional councils to require that some or all public transport services be provided under contract.

This Bill does not tell regional councils how to run their public transport systems; it simply gives them the tools to run them as effectively as possible.

Regional councils will be able to set longer notice periods for commercial public transport providers in commencing, varying and withdrawing services. This will allow more time to respond to changes and ensure the continued delivery of services to communities.

Regional councils will have greater access to information, such as detailed patronage statistics. This will enable more effective planning of public transport and development of regional public transport plans.

Where this information is commercially sensitive strict requirements will be in place governing its release.

The Bill also gives regional councils greater monitoring powers to ensure that commercial services are meeting controls.

Regional councils will be able to set quality and performance standards, enable the integration of services, ticketing and fares, and where justified, require bundling of services.
To ensure that any controls set by regional councils are justified, the Bill also includes an oversight mechanism to allow existing commercial public transport operators the right to appeal to the Environment Court.

The role and process for development of regional public transport plans have been improved and clarified. The NZ Transport Agency will be producing guidelines to assist regional councils with the new requirements for regional public transport plans.

The Bill defines the transport disadvantaged, outlines clear accessibility standards that may be set to benefit them, and recognises accessibility issues go beyond simply being able to get onto a bus or ferry.

Finally, the Bill enables regional councils to require that some or all public transport services must be provided as contracted services. Councils would be able to discontinue commercial services and operate what would be known as a ‘contracting regime’.

It will be up to each region to decide whether they adopt a contracting regime or not.

As this aspect of the Bill will have a significant effect on operators who have existing commercial services discontinued, regional councils are required to consider a number of factors when adopting a contracting regime. Transitional arrangements must be put in place and existing operators would have a right of appeal to the Environment Court.

Madam Speaker, I move that the Public Transport Management Bill 2007 be read a third time.


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