Invercargill at the Centre of NZ Road Transport

Already a significant centre for road transport as the headquarters of the HW Richardson Group, Invercargill will become the undisputed focus of our industry between 28 and 30 September. Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s ‘The Road Ahead’ Conference and the New Zealand Road Transport Hall of Fame are being held back-to- back in the world’s southernmost city.

Both events will attract the big names and movers and shakers of our industry, and I recommend you get in quick to register your attendance and secure the necessary accommodation.

Held at the Ascot Park Hotel, the conference is back after a two-year break due to the pandemic and presents a long-awaited networking opportunity for transport operators countrywide. We know how hard everyone has been working to keep New Zealand’s critical supply chains moving and businesses operating during extremely tough times, so we are determined to provide an informative, entertaining, fun event to reflect that. We have also designed the programme so that delegates can consider what’s ahead for the industry as we react to the significant political, economic and environmental challenges ahead.

Influential and thought-provoking speakers will focus on themes about how we shape the future of our industry in uncertain times, how we can best look after the valuable people in our businesses, and how we must continue to lead the way on safety.

The conference will also focus on the changing labour market and what that means for our future workforce, the sustainability and environmental requirements of doing business, possible future fuel sources, supply chain issues, and digital and other disruptors.

Speakers will include leading economist Cameron Bagrie; Waka Kotāhi NZ Transport Agency chief executive Nicole Rosie; Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge; Datacom head of supply chain Dave Ffowcs Williams; Transport Minister Michael Wood; managing director of Retyna Liz Yeaman; and television graphics entrepreneur and former television presenter Sir Ian Taylor.

Rebbecca Lilley, a senior research fellow at Otago University, will present an overview of road- accident data and culture in the transport industry, and Kelly McLuckie will present trends and data on trucking industry workforce engagement. The director of the HW Richardson Group, Joc O’Donnell, will also talk to delegates about what makes that company tick and its significant involvement in the Southland economy and community.

While there are plenty of meaty issues to sink our teeth into, the conference will be punctuated by social events such as two nights of pre-dinner drinks, sponsored by Teletrac Navman and Bluebridge, the IVCS Dinner and the VINZ Breakfast.

The conference will also allow us to celebrate outstanding contributions over the past couple of years through the Transporting New Zealand Road Transport Industry Awards. These awards will be presented at a gala dinner and provide a fitting closing to the event.

Nominations are still open, and I would encourage all those that work with or alongside an organisation or individual they believe is deserving of recognition to get a nomination in as soon as possible. Entry guidelines and the nomination form can be found at awards.

For partners who are keen to attend the social events but otherwise wish to experience a bit more of what Southland has to offer, there is a two-day partner’s programme. This includes the option of a trip to Rakiura/Stewart Island, a tour of the Seriously Good Chocolate Company and a visit to the He Waka Tuia Museum.

Registration for Transporting New Zealand’s ‘The Road Ahead’ Conference is available at

After the conference wraps up, I encourage delegates to stay another day or two and attend the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame on Friday, 30 September. The Hall of Fame honours the trailblazers and legends of the road transport industry and has developed into a real celebration of the industry’s contribution to the country. Visit contact to find out more.