Local Government New Zealand calls for proactive approach to mobilise regions
A proactive shared national approach to decision-making across the transport sector is crucial to lifting economic performance across New Zealand, says Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President Lawrence Yule.
LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness.
Mr Yule said the report shows the importance of ensuring that transport decisions affecting New Zealand are made with full consideration of their regional impact.
LGNZ is calling for two key transport outcomes to support stronger regional growth across all of New Zealand. These are:
- Transport decision-makers apply consistent criteria across all modes.
- Local communities and regional leaders work with transport decision-makers to highlight regional priorities and impacts.
“As a country we cannot afford not to do this,” said Mr Yule. “Current decision-making processes across the transport sector are not producing the best outcomes for New Zealand and its regional economies. An ‘all of New Zealand’ approach is essential to strengthen our communities and our economic potential as a country.”
“We see an important role for central government to work with local government to develop better institutional arrangements for transport decision in our regions, with a number of policy levers used to achieve a successful multi-modal approach to transport.“
Mr Yule said that achieving the outcomes will require partnership and coordination between local and central government and, where possible, private sector operators across all transport modes.
“There are already good examples of local and central government working together, including the strong partnership local government has forged with the NZ Transport Agency and the integration of local government into the Government’s new Thirty Year New Zealand Infrastructure Plan.”
To achieve the outcomes LGNZ recommends that central and local government work together on three key actions to maximise the value of a “multi-modal” approach to transport in ways that support regional economies:
- Develop processes to ensure that the full impacts of all maintenance, operations, investment and de-investment decisions are understood.
- Partner to leverage existing government, business and community networks to ensure collective understanding of transport decisions and their regional impacts.
- Ensure improved clarity, communication, inter-operability and evidence of value across decisions made in all modes.
“These actions are intended to be just the start of a discussion to ensure a stronger, joined up
approach to planning and investing in New Zealand’s transport infrastructure. This is a conversation that local and central government must have urgently if we are to leverage the important role that transport infrastructure plays in regional economic growth,” said Mr Yule.