MINUTES OF A meeting of the Regional Transport Committee



Date:                          Friday 27 April 2012


Time:                          10.15am



Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                     AJ Dick – Chairman

T Kingston – CHB District Council

T Kerr – Hastings District Council

C Little  - Wairoa District Council

T Ashworth- Objective Representative – Public Health

L Remmerswaal - HBRC

K Santer – Advisory Representative - Rail

J Chetwynd - NZTA

M Mohi - Objective Representative – Cultural Interests

C Bain – Objective Representative Economic Development, Advisory Representative – Coastal Shipping

Mr B Pritchard –Objective Representative – Environmental Sustainability


In Attendance:          Mr J Quinn – CEO – Kiwirail

                                            Mr M Matthews – CEO – Ministry of Transport

Mrs C Gilbertson – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

                                             Mr J Cox – Wairoa District Council

                                   Mr S McKinley – Central Hawke’s bay District Council

                                   Mr J Schwass- Napier City Council

                                   Mr M Clews – Hastings District Council

Mr J Pannu – Hastings District Council

                                   Mr G Hart – NZTA

                                   Ms D Myers – NZTA

                                      Mr M Buchanan – BESL

                                     M Drury – Committee Secretary



Chairman Dick welcomed all present to the meeting with a special welcome to Mr Jim Quinn, CEO Kiwirail who would give the meeting an update on the Napier to Gisborne rail track and Mr Martin Matthews CEO Ministry of Transport who would give a presentation of the role of the Ministry of Transport and current activities the Ministry was involved in. 

Chairman Dick advised that following Mr Quinn’s presentation to the Committee, Mr Quinn had agreed to have a discussion with representatives of the Rail Action Group and HBRC Chairman Wilson would chair that discussion.

Chairman Dick advised that under Section 3.19 of the New Zealand Standing Orders, Mr Ken Crispin representing the Rail Action group had been granted permission to deliver a 10 minute presentation on the Gisborne rail track.

Chairman Dick also advised that agenda items would be discussed out of order as there were time restraints on presenters.

An apology was received from C Adamson.



Councillor Kerr advised that she would leave the meeting at 2.20pm



There were no conflicts of interest declared.



Short Term Replacements for the Regional Transport Committee


There were no short term replacements for the meeting.

The Committee noted that Councillor Craig Little would be an alternate for Mayor Probert for the next few meetings.



Deputation re Gisborne Rail Track - 10.30am


Mr Ken Crispin representing the Rail Action Group gave a presentation which illustrated the damage that had recently occurred on the Napier to Gisborne railway line.

Mr Crispin urged all regional leaders to form a delegation to have discussions with the Minister of Transport regarding the options available to KiwiRail and the opportunities available in the region for the continued use of rail.

Mr Crispin then answered questions from the Committee.

Chairman Dick thanked Mr Crispin for his presentation.



1.           That the Regional Transport Committee notes the presentation from Mr Crispin.






Consideration of East Coast Rail Situation 


Mr Quinn, CEO KiwiRail, addressed the meeting, he also acknowledged the support for rail from Mr Crispin and members of the Rail Action Group.

Mr Quinn outlined the process KiwiRail were currently working through in order for the correct decision to be determined for the future of the Napier to Gisborne rail track.

Mr Quinn outlined the commercial mandate for the line which needed to be considered along with technical investigations currently underway.  It was noted that there had been an increase in commercial revenue to June 2011 and it was predicted that the commercial revenue to end of June 2012 would also increase. However with the recent line closure as a result of weather damage, the projected  revenue levels would now not  occur.  The Committee noted that KiwiRail would work closely with NZTA and it was imperative that the right decision was made considering all the relevant facts.

Mr Quinn described the technical difficulties encountered on the 212km track, which included the wooden sleepers requiring replacement and all rail structures to be investigated, all of which would require significant capital investment.

Mr Quinn advised that it was expected an outcome could be reached within the next couple of weeks. This decision would then be shared by KiwiRail with the community and Councils.  The decision would be subject  to ongoing discussions with Central Government who would make the final decision.

Responding to questions from the Committee, Mr Quinn made the following points:

·          KiwiRail does not intend to relinquish any designation of the rail line;

·          It was doubtful that world wide any metropolitan rail line would stand on its own feet, however there were examples overseas of freight lines that do;

·          New Zealand is unique as there is only one rail line whereas overseas there are many railways operating in one country;

·          New Zealand is simply too small for a long distant passenger transport system;

·          Most people in New Zealand use rail for the experience;

·          Customers require confidence when considering investing in rail as there could be a risk of an extra step in the process being required which would not be cost effective (i.e logs being carted by trucks to the rail line)



1.     That the Regional Transport Committee receive the verbal report “An Update on the        East Coast Rail Situation” given by Mr Quinn.





Presentation by Mr Martin Matthews, CEO Ministry of Transport


Mr Matthews gave the Committee a presentation which advised that the Ministry was the Government’s advisor across all fields of transport; outlined the Central Government transport ‘players’ that the Ministry of Transport have ongoing dialogue with; and gave examples of the Ministry’s involvement in the big picture overseas markets and the investigation of opportunities in the aviation area.

Mr Matthews explained the Ministry’s strategic framework which aims to have a strong focus on a transport system that maximises economic and social benefits for New Zealand and minimises harm. It is important to ensure that the regulation around transport was appropriate and did not put a large cost on the system.

Mr Matthews also discussed the priorities for transport between 2012-15 to ensure that New Zealand had a high performing transport system which contributed to economic growth.  It was hoped this could be achieved by better quality regulation, investment in infrastructure, a safer transport system and an opportunity for transport operators and users to access more domestic and international markets.

Responding to questions from the Committee, Mr Matthews made the following comments:

·          Confirmed that the Ministry did advise Government on the level of fuel excise tax and road user charges and influence around how large the level of funding needed to be, although choices were restrained by several factors;

·          There were no changes envisaged to the LTMA to what was announced last year.  In terms of timing, it was hoped that the bill would be in the House by the middle of this year however progress was still determined by the Select Committee;

·          The changes proposed are around the objectives and regimes of what has to be worked with along with some simplification of the planning regime – it was important to have a long term view;

·          NZTA and the Ministry do have different roles to pay in recognition of the vast differences in communities however in some areas it is Government policy to set the criteria;

·          In regard to future increases in petrol, there is an international notion around the increase in oil and the impacts which will occur when it happens. However it is difficult to know what impact ongoing technological improvements will have.  Consumers need to be encouraged to make good and informed choices;

·          Strategies and incentives need to be considered to reward young drivers for doing the ‘right’ thing but it needs to be done as part of an overall strategy.



1.      That the Regional Transport Committee receives the presentation from Mr Martin          Matthews, CEO of the Ministry of Transport.





Action Items from Previous Regional Transport Committee Meetings


Mrs Gilbertson updated the Committee on the Action items listed.

Mr Cox also updated the Committee on progress on SH38 and advised that further meetings were planned with iwi to discuss their role in the project.



1.     That the Regional Transport Committee receives the report “Action Items from Previous        Regional Transport Committee Meetings”.






Consideration of General Business Items


1.        Confirmation of Next Meeting Date



Adoption of the Draft Regional Land Transport Strategy - Incorporating the Draft Regional Land Transport Programme


Mrs Gilbertson sought the Committee’s approval for the draft Regional land Transport Strategy (RLTS) which incorporates the draft Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP) for public consideration using the special consultative procedure (in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002.

Prior to discussion on this item, Chairman Dick acknowledged the excellent efforts of Mrs Gilbertson and the consultants to have the document to its current state.

An updated Summary Of Information document detailing what was contained in the Strategy was tabled.

Mrs Gilbertson then outlined the timetable prior to the final adoption of the Strategy on 30 June 2012,  amendments to the draft Strategy and also a draft of the Targets to be included in the Strategy.  The Committee discussed the draft document and the Summary Sheet,  and suggested  amendments to the document which were noted.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1.      Confirms that the draft Regional Land Transport Strategy RLTS), incorporating the          draft Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP) be subjected to a special          consultative procedure as required by section 93(2) of the Local Government Act.



2.    Adopts the draft RLTS, incorporating the draft RLTP and the Summary of Proposal; and noting any changes made by the Committee at this meeting, under Sections 83 and 93 of the Local Government Act 2002 for the purposes of initiating the special consultative procedure.

3.    Notes the key milestones and agrees to give public notice pursuant to Sections 83(e), (f), and (g) of the Local Government Act 2002, to notify the adoption of the draft RLTS, incorporating the draft RLTP with a closing date of submissions on 31 May 2012.





Consideration of East Coast Rail Situation  - continued


Mr Santer advised that the rail track damage in northern Hawke’s Bay cannot be looked at in isolation as the roading network had also suffered considerable damage . He said it was now necessary to take a more holistic view of all modes of transport and how they can all integrate together.

Ms Chetwynd confirmed that NZTA were currently looking at the implications on SH2 and noted that the funding investment is very different between rail and road.  It was not possible to take money from one fund for the other as land transport is based on a pay as you  go system.

Following further discussion by the Committee on the life line issues in northern Hawke’s Bay, and a suggestion  from Chairman Dick, the Committee agreed that a letter of support for the rail line to be retained, be sent to the Minister of Transport and the Prime Minister.

Mr Murray advised that a letter of support would also be written from the Automobile Association and that he was very happy for it to be sent in support of the Committee’s letter.

Councillor Kingston acknowledged the assistance the Committee had received from Mr Santer over the time he had been a member of the Committee.



1.      That the Regional Transport Committee advocate to Central Government to support the retention of the east coast railway line and bring it to total sustainability.




The meeting adjourned at 12.45pm and reconvened at 1.25pm


Transport Manager's Report


Mrs Gilbertson  updated the Committee on relevant transport matters which had been actioned and current issues as well as significant issues from approved organisations.

As part of the Regional Land Transport Strategy audit process Mrs Gilbertson noted that the Auditor advised there needed to be reconfirmation to this Committee that the Chairman of the Regional Transport Committee does not have a casting vote. The Terms of Reference would be updated to reflect this.

Mrs Gilbertson advised that following further discussions at the TAG meeting on  5 April, it was agreed by all TAG members that the proposed Management and Monitoring Protocol, which had been left to lie on the table at the two previous RTC meetings, did not require adoption by the RTC.

Mrs Gilbertson reported that following further discussions with Council’s bus operator, Go Bus, agreement had been reached that bike racks would be installed on buses which operate Council’s main route, route 12 between Napier and Hastings.  It is hoped that this service would commence in the middle of this year.

Mr Pannu updated the Committee on the public and stakeholder meetings already held on the Whakatu arterial project and was happy with progress to date. The Council is currently engaged on inquiry by design process with key stakeholders.  Options had already been identified by meeting goers and he was optimistic that the right outcome would be found in a short time.

Mr Hart reported that  NZTA and Hastings District Council had reached a short term solution in relation to concerns expressed from the community about the Clive bridge.  However, the short term solution will not be the best long term solution, which has financial implications.

Councillor Furlong thanked Mrs Gilbertson for arranging a trip on the Ahuriri Hopper bus for Napier City Councillors and staff.  As a result of this trip, it is proposed that the Hospital Hill section of the current route will be removed along with several other small changes.  Councillor Furlong reported that an issue still confronting Napier City Council is the placement of bus stops outside properties and consultation would take place to reach a satisfactory solution.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1.    Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted policy on significance and that Council can exercise its discretion under Sections 79(1)(a) and 82(3) of the Local Government Act 2002 and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community and persons likely to be affected by or to have an interest in the decision due to the nature and significance of the issue to be considered and decided.

2.    Receives the Transport Manager’s report.





HPMV Video Presentation by Mr Gordon Hart - NZTA


Ms Chetwynd advised that following the successful introduction of High productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMV) in the region,  NZTA had prepared a video  demonstrating an example of this success story. This video had been used by NZTA throughout New Zealand to illustrate the story to NZTA staff throughout the country as well as external transport partners.



1.      That the Regional Transport Committee receives the updated report on the High          productivity Motor Vehicles success story in Hawke’s Bay.






Central Region - Regional Director's Report


Ms Chetwynd  updated the Committee on national issues and noted that the current economic conditions has created a difficult operating environment for freight operators.  With the Christchurch rebuild now underway a potential downside is that growth in demand for construction and related services will create upward pressure on tender prices across the country.

Ms Chetwynd advised that NZTA would be in a position to give a early indications of funding levels for maintenance, operations and renewals by the end of May.

Mr Hart updated progress on state highway and network operations activities across the region and noted that NZTA remain confident of achieving SH5 HPMV capability at the end of this financial year.



1.    That the Regional Transport Committee receives the Regional Director’s report.



Councillor Kerr left the meeting at 2.10pm


Report on Cycling and Walking Conference


Councillor Remmerswaal and Mrs Ashworth  gave a report on the Walking and Cycling conference which was held in Hastings in February of this year.  Key points were discussed and it was noted that Hawke’s Bay is a long way ahead of other regions in the country with its cycle and walking plans.

Councillor Remmerswaal congratulated Hastings for holding a very successful and enjoyable conference.

Councillor Kingston advised that the 2012 NZ national time trials for cycling were planned to take place between Waipawa and Tikokino.



1.    That the Regional Transport Committee receives the report entitled “Walk and Cycle Conference, 22-24 February 2012.





Verbal Reports from Objective Representatives


B Pritchard – Environmental Sustainability

Mr Pritchard advised that Mr Alistair Bramley had recently been appointed as a Trustee on the EcoEd Board.

D Murray – Access and Mobility

Mr Murray welcomed a review of the road user charges and hoped it would ensure that all modes of transport would pay their fair share.  He also noted that several electric vehicles, vehicles running on compressed and a number of other initiatives were now also being developed.

Mr Murray reaffirmed that a support letter from the Automobile Association in regard to the Napier to Gisborne rail line would be forwarded to the Chairman early next week.



That the verbal reports from the Objective Representatives be received.





General Business


Confirmation of Next Meeting Date

Mrs Gilbertson advised that the-Hearings on RLTS  would now be held on 8 June 2012 not 25 May as previously advised.

The Committee agreed that the full Committee would attend this meeting with the Objective representatives also able to attend the meeting if they wished.





Minutes of the Regional Transport Committee held on Friday, 17 February 2012, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed.




4.      Matters Arising from Minutes of  the  Regional Transport Committee held on Friday 17 February 2012

There were no matters arising from the minutes.



There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 2.35pm on Friday, 27 April 2012.


Signed as a true and correct record.




DATE: ................................................               CHAIRMAN: ...............................................