Ready set GO!

In Newsletter Editorial5 MinutesBy Dave McCoidOctober 8, 2021

Wasn’t last Friday full of fun? The current model of transport industry representation deconstructed, and roughly speaking, the tripartite split into two factions. One side says it tabled a one-voice solution; the other says the proposal was untenable. “No surpwises there,” as the little fella in the TV ad said.

One side says it made up 64% of the old Transporting New Zealand (pre-split) membership, and the other says it represents the bulk of the industry. Who knows? Like I’ve said before, quantum mechanics is easier to decipher than understanding who and what the associations represented pre-divorce.

Then there were the following phrases, one from each side’s release; “…remain committed to getting the best possible results for the road freight industry,…” and “…continue to work at the grassroots level with our members […] then provide the services and solutions that meet their needs”. Oh, let’s not forget the mention of the importance of “best in class” representation, whatever the hell that means. I wonder which class they’re referring to. The one that teaches you to contract yourself out of communicating when your only reason for existing in the first place is to communicate?

One of the grizzles I’ve had all too often is the claim that so much good work is done that no one knows about. Again, an entity that’s only purpose is communication is moaning that no one knows what they’re achieving. You have to ask yourself, don’t you?

What all the above clearly communicates is a lack of humility. No one said anything like, “we’ve failed to do as well as we might, we own that, and we’re going to fix it”.

But that’s all the bad news. Here’s the great news. Everything above is now week-old history. Everything above is utterly meaningless. We now have two teams on the go line, purporting to be the dandiest representation the industry could ever have.

I hope both sides are scared shitless. Now there’s nowhere to hide. Now they must get runs on the board – and I’d suggest quickly.

Of course, we’ve had calls telling us the other side won’t exist in “blah blah” months. But that’s all wasted time and breath that should have been used to do something for the members. If one side makes a real gain for the industry pre-Christmas and communicates it clearly to everyone via every conceivable media, they would be in a strong position. The vacuous world we live in holds loyalty only to those delivering on their immediate needs.

If I were a club captain, I’d spend a week in as many trucks around the country as I could and see what life at the coal face is like. I’d talk to as many owners and operations managers as I could and then release a summary acknowledging what I’d learned and that much needs to be done. I’d say that now was the time to get serious. After all that, I’d commit to spending one day a month in the cab of a truck. Of course, I’ll be told that’s pie in the sky and unnecessary, and all I’ll do is smirk to myself and think back to Bill Richardson telling me personally it was the best thing he did in the context of his awareness of day-to-day life in his business.

In short, the field is all yours, champs, ready to harvest (to paraphrase a passage from the good book). You’ve finally proved you don’t want to play nice together and told us that you and you alone can negotiate with incredible effect (with anyone but each other, obviously).

We’re here waiting to tell the world about every run you post.

All the best

Dave McCoid