Sort yourselves out!

In October 2023, The Last Mile5 MinutesBy The Accidental TruckerNovember 3, 2023

Towards the end of May, a rumour circulated that Transporting New Zealand (TNZ) and National Road Carriers (NRC) were discussing forming a single organisation representing the industry. Good, I thought, sanity is about to prevail, and the organisations involved recognise that a single united voice is the only way to represent the industry’s interests – especially to the government.

My thoughts were soon dampened when I read a summary of the NRC AGM, with the chair saying they were not discussing becoming a single entity with any organisation. That clears that up, I thought, but no, within a couple of days, the chair of TNZ said that this was not quite correct, adding that TNZ has had some informal talks with NRC representatives and that he had a “raft of correspondence going back and forth between himself and the chairman of NRC”. He said that one industry organisation remained the goal.

Not to be outdone, the CEO of NRC followed up by saying that the organisation’s position was to cooperate across all industry associations, TNZ and the New Zealand Trucking Association, working in good faith to align what they call for from the government. He added that if they did this well, they might find they were better positioned to take steps towards industry consolidation.

A little over two years ago, the then-constitute members of the Road Transport Forum, the Road Transport Association, NRC and the NZ Trucking Association parted company, deciding to go their own way. This resulted in the Road Transport Association rebranding to become Transporting New Zealand. It is not unreasonable to say that since the split, TNZ is still finding its way as an industry representative organisation, but seemingly is now talking about linking up again. What has gone wrong? Was the split a wrong move?

We may never know, but at a time when the industry faces numerous challenges and with an election looming, we need to show a united front represented by a single authoritative voice, especially to whoever might win the election on 14 October. Come on, people, sort yourselves out. Put your ideals to the side; stop acting like little kids. The sandpit is big enough for all to play together. The industry needs a united voice, but this is not happening at the moment and is possibly causing irreparable harm to our industry and its image.

WE SHOULD CONGRATULATE Waka Kotahi NZTA for holding the overspending on its new Wellington head office for roughly 1000 staff to only $4 million over budget (The Post, 7 July) after shaving $6 million off the cost of furnishings, technology and materials. The article described the new office as the “deluxe” option of those considered.

It is unreasonable to expect staff to work in second-rate conditions, but functionality is all that’s required. It should never be forgotten it is our money that is being spent, and at the moment, I am sure NZTA could have used some of this money to better effect – fixing potholes, for example.

IT WAS ANNOYING to read that a month after opening, problems appeared on the Puhoi to Warkworth section of the Northern Motorway. It seems that the unstable ground causing the problem has been known about for some years by NZTA and highlighted in just-released engineering reports, but NZTA “thought” the motorway would bypass the area.

What? They thought it would be all right? What sort of organisation pays millions of dollars for consultants and then just carries on with what they “think” regardless? Are they saying this construction was not completed to plan, and nobody was checking to ensure areas of concern, such as known unstable ground, were addressed?

On top of this, we are now told that work on the Transmission Gully site, north of Wellington, is still not yet complete.

Consistency counts for everything; apparently it does not matter if the outcomes are good or bad as long as they are consistent.