Tackling the big issues key for National Road Carriers

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 23, 2022

Tackling the big issues and building resilience were the focus of this year’s National Road Carriers annual general meeting, with newly appointed CEO Justin Tighe-Umber also meeting members ahead of his official start this August.

“Feedback from members in the recent survey was clear, they expect us to have a single-minded focus on the issues that keep them up at night,” said John Baillie, NRC chair.

“The list is long and includes rising costs of fuel and labour, roading and infrastructure failure, shortage of skilled workers, compliance, climate change, the pandemic and supply chain crisis,” he said.
“Advocating for members on these issues is our top priority. Making sure NRC is equipped to do this moving forward has been central to how we have shaped the new business and communications strategy,” Baillie said.

“It is why we seconded experts to the board and partnered with Simon Bridges to chair the newly formed Transport and Logistics Advisory Group.”  The AGM was well supported with 185 attendees taking the opportunity to gain more insight into the new strategic direction the organisation is taking. As part of the new strategy, Bridges took the opportunity to speak to members about leaning into what the industry is going to be facing over the next few years and issued a challenge to NRC members to focus on the ‘big issues’.

“I want to challenge the industry to focus in on the big issues affecting the industry such as talent, poor roading, low infrastructure investment and climate change,” Bridges said.

“Taking solutions to decision-makers needs to be a priority and doing so in a collaborative way to ensure positive outcomes is important.

“The National Land Transport Fund is funded by road users and gets billions into its kitty every year, and if well invested consistently over time would significantly improve roading. But even a cursory glance shows the fund is not being well spent,” he said.

“Compounding this, the fund was originally intended to improve roading, but it is now going towards public transport subsidies and rail – with the predictable outcome of repeated under-investment leading to more roading in disrepair and an increase in road accidents.”

The NRC board for 2022/2023 was confirmed following the AGM, with John Baillie, Ian Newey, Don Wilson, Calven Bonney, Steve Doughty, Corey Burnett, Glen MacKay named, along with new board member Pamela Bonney, and Shafraz Khan who continues in his role providing specialist strategic support. The chair and deputy chair will be announced following the first board meeting post-AGM.