The Government will inject the New Zealand Transport Agency with an extra $45 million after an independent report concluded it had failed in one of its major responsibilities.
But the Government blames National for the failures in the transport sector that led to Transport Minister Phil Twyford commissioning an independent report investigating NZTA.
The review, undertaken by agency Martin Jenkins, found that previous transport ministers had directed NZTA to “focus on building roads” at the expense of keeping people safe.
The report also found that NZTA had failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous Government.
In response to the review, the Government has confirmed it will adopt all of its recommendations and plans to implement them as soon as possible.
The recommendations include:
• Injecting NZTA with an extra $45 million to help bolster its regulatory obligations
• Create a statutory Director of Land Transport who is responsible for carrying out NZTA’s regulatory functions and powers
• Getting NZTA’s board to develop a new regulatory strategy
• Instructing the Ministry of Transport to update the NZTA’s regulatory objectives
Twyford said these changes would help to equip NZTA for the massive transformation the agency will undergo in the coming years.
Ministry of Transport chief executive Peter Mersi welcomed the report and its findings this morning.
“As [the] monitor of transport Crown agencies, we share responsibility for the regulatory failure.”
He said the report was a “wake-up call” for the ministry.
In November last year, Twyford directed the Ministry of Transport to review the performance NZTA’s regulatory functions.
The review comes on the back of a number of concerns which emerged around NZTA’s regulatory function and a backlog of compliance cases that have not been properly managed.
“When this issue was brought to my attention I was seriously concerned about the scope and seriousness of the failures that have occurred,” Twyford said at the time.