Regional Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Wednesday 9 June 2021, 1:00 pm

Venue:                         Regional House Chambers, 1 Elizabeth St, Tauranga

Chairperson:               Cr Lyall Thurston - Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Jane Nees - Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Members:                    Mayor Garry Webber - Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Alternate, Whakatāne District, David Speirs – Director Regional Relationships, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Mayor Steve Chadwick - Rotorua Lakes Council (via Zoom), Commissioner Stephen Selwood, Alternate – Tauranga City Council (via Zoom), Cr Norm Bruning – Alternate, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

In Attendance:            Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science, James Llewellyn – Transport and Urban Planning Manager, Lorraine Cheyne – Senior Transport Planner, Rachel Pinn – Contractor, Cr Andrew von Dadelszen (via Zoom), Cr Paula Thompson (via Zoom), Cr Crosby (via Zoom), Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

                                    External: Inspector Brent Crowe – Road Safety Advisor, NZ Police, Member; Dan Kneebone – Port Advisor, Port of Tauranga; Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability Advisor; John Galbraith – Freight Advisor (via Zoom), Cr Don Thwaites – Western Bay of Plenty District Council  

 

Apologies:                  Chairman Leeder – Ex-Officio, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Commissioner Anne Tolley – Tauranga City Council Chair, Mayor Judy Turner -  Whakatāne District Council, Mayor Lyn Riesterer - Ōpōtiki District Council, Cr David Moore – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council, Deputy Mayor David Donaldson – Alternate, Rotorua Lakes Council

 

Please note that this meeting was recorded via Zoom and is available on Council’s YouTube channel for viewing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgOZSz9A1dA

1.     Apologies

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Accepts the apologies from Chairman Leeder – Ex-Officio, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Commissioner Anne Tolley – Tauranga City Council Chair, Mayor Judy Turner -  Whakatāne District Council, Mayor Lyn Riesterer - Ōpōtiki District Council, Cr David Moore – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council and Deputy Mayor David Donaldson – Alternate, Rotorua Lakes Council tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/Webber

CARRIED

2.     Public Forum

2.1

Cr Don Thwaites – Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Tabled Document 1 - Public Forum - Cr Don Thwaites: Objective ID A3827379  

 

Key Points:

·         Had been a member of the Regional Transport Committee (RTC) during the 2018 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) process

·         Was a member of the Ōmōkoroa Community Board

·         Provided a historic map showing options of a Bethlehem bypass

·         Expressed frustration over the ministerial announcement on 4 June 2021, where central government would no longer fund Takitimu Northern Link (TNL) Stage 2, from Te Puna to Ōmōkoroa

·         This critically affected two major intersections at Ōmōkoroa and Whakamarama which remained a high priority.

 

3.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

4.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

4.1

Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 19 February 2021

Matters Arising

Mayor Webber – Western Bay of Plenty District Council expressed displeasure at the amended priority weightings.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Confirms the Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 19 February 2021 as a true and correct record.

Iles/Nees

CARRIED

5.     Reports

5.1

Chairperson's Report

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The Public Transport Operating Model (PToM) review aimed to:

o  Understand barriers to delivery of zero emission buses

o  Consider how to protect drivers’ wages and conditions and therefore make bus driving a more attractive career

o  Look at how the different roles and relationships within the public transport industry could work better

o  Consider whether reasons for exempt services under PToM needed to be changed and also how on-demand services would be treated under PToM

Key Points - Members:

·         An increasing area of concern was driver and public safety on buses.

·         Needed to get a comparative analysis of hourly rates compared to working conditions.

 

In Response to Questions:

·         The preference was that the PToM review would provide a contractual framework with flexibility to implement the types of services and vehicles that were appropriate to the network

·         The submission compiled for PToM needed to clearly outline issues and challenges in relation to driver and public safety on buses, and address the importance of investment in security measures.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.

Thurston/Iles

CARRIED

Decisions Required

5.2

Waka Kotahi Quarterly Update - June 2021

Presentation: Waka Kotahi Quarterly Update: Objective ID A3811425  

Key Points:

·         Changes announced by central government to the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) had impacted Stage 2 of the TNL project, which would now only progress with route protection.  Anything beyond this would need to go through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) process.  With guidance from Minister of Transport Hon Michael Wood, staff were looking at a range of options for the Ōmōkoroa intersection and would seek to progress these as a variation through the NLTP.  The specimen design currently in place would continue to be worked upon as it was still considered the best option

·         The Rightcar website had been updated to include price ranges of cars and driver safety, and encouraged people to buy the safest, cleanest car they could afford

·         The likelihood of death or injury in cars that had low safety ratings ( 1 or 2 stars) was high compared to accidents occurring in a 5 star rated vehicle

·         Highlighted that the One Network Framework was progressing more quickly than expected

·         There had been a high level of interest in the Tauriko for Tomorrow engagement

·         State Highway 2 (SH2) to Wainui Road safety improvements project had created 15 full time jobs for local people to date.

Key Points - Members:

·         Acknowledged local hapū and iwi for their cooperation and consideration to the SH2 to Wainui Road safety improvements within a relatively tight timeframe.

In Response to Questions:

·         Looking at alternative funding options and streams was ongoing work, particularly with the move from cars to other modes of transport.

 

Items for Waka Kotahi Follow Up:

·         Provide details on the level of support from the public for the various options that were provided in the Tauriko for Tomorrow engagement.

 

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Waka Kotahi Quarterly Update - June 2021;

Speirs/Chadwick

CARRIED

2           Requests Waka Kotahi provide the weightings that were used through the analysis of the NZUP funding to the committee;

Webber/Nees

CARRIED

3           Expresses collective regret that a proposed route development deferral will impact upon the effective workings of the committee.

Chadwick/Selwood

CARRIED

David Speirs abstained from voting on resolution 3

 

 

 

5.3

Endorsement of the 2021 - 2031 Regional Land Transport Plan

Presentation: Regional Land Transport Plan Endorsement: Objective ID A3828589

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn, Contractor Rachel Pinn and Senior Transport Planner Lorraine Cheyne presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The main challenge was availability of funds, which was caused by a range of factors, particularly the impacts of Covid-19 on Waka Kotahi revenue

·         The Bay of Plenty Regional Advisory Group (RAG) included officers from all territorial authorities, along with Waka Kotahi and scored the various activities against the RLTP objectives.  The score allocated to the projects was equally important to the weightings placed on the prioritisation criteria.  The scores moderated and agreed to by the RAG were first compared with the evidence available around the contribution of each of the activities to the various investment objectives.  The final score was then calculated using the prioritised weightings

·         Understanding the inter-dependencies of each project significantly strengthened the process as it provided a view of how the prioritised list fit together

·         Outlined how each different scenario produced a different prioritised list of activities.  Any change to the scenarios had an impact on project sequencing and inter-dependencies

·         Noted that Scenario 4 had been added by the RLTP Hearings Subcommittee to consider a higher percentage weighting for integrated freight and regional resilience (correction to page 33 of the agenda – Scenario 4 should read 25% climate change, 30% safety, 15% integrated freight and regional resilience and 30% better travel options)

·         The weightings in Scenario 1 were overall reflective of support from public submissions, RAG and Waka Kotahi, along with alignment to the GPS and the climate emergency declared.  The weightings also reflected key initiatives such as Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI), Transport Spatial Plan (TSP) and some of the priority activities in Rotorua and Eastern Bay of Plenty for a good balance between sub-regions

·         Staff would undertake a ‘lessons learned’ review in July/ August 2021, i.e. an opportunity to understand how to improve the process in the future.

Key Points - Members:

·         One of the issues with early objective weightings which reflected 35% for freight and regional resilience and 15% for better travel options was that they were inconsistent with the Government Policy Statement (GPS).  Scenario 4 was put forward at the RLTP deliberations meeting on 28 May 2021 with an increased weighting on freight but was found to push projects out of sequence and affect critical inter-dependencies

·         Although it was evident from submissions that there was strong support for the strategy, considered that this better reflected support of the overall objectives of the strategy, which were broader than the GPS criteria

·         Emphasised that the Bay of Plenty was not an urban region, but a rural provincial region, therefore public transport would not resolve the roading and transport issues

·         Reducing speed on its own was not the solution to making roads safer in the region

·         The RTC had a role in influencing policy going forward, using regional advocacy on integrated transport

·         Along with priority freight, a strong emphasis on business and commercial trips needed to be recognised.

In Response to Questions:

·         Response letters to submitters would be sent out after the adoption of the RLTP by Council on 24 June 2021

·         In general, the challenge with rail was that the responsibility lay with KiwiRail – whilst councils could lobby for a rail network, they were not responsible for planning, funding or delivery

·         Relatively frequent buses provided in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty struggled for patronage, so better use must be made of existing investment before consideration of additional services into the network

·         No decision had been made yet by the Public Transport Committee on whether to change from the hub and spoke model, however  this would be reviewed over the next couple of years as part of further optimisation and business case work

·         Noted that in order to receive funding from Waka Kotahi for projects over $2m, a business case must be prepared.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·          As funding had been withdrawn from TNL Stage 2, a footnote needed to be added to explain the reason for shifting this from Table 16 of the RLTP to the list of significant activities that were not funded or prioritised.

3:07 pm - The meeting  adjourned and Mayor Chadwick withdrew from the meeting.

3:20 pm – The meeting reconvened.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Agrees to write to the Minister of Transport noting the importance of Ōmokoroa Intersection and Takitimu Northern Link Stage 2 and requesting consideration of solutions and NLTF funding as soon as possible, including the potential for a variation to the NLTP;

Nees/Webber

CARRIED

David Speirs abstained from voting

2           Receives the report, Endorsement of the 2021 - 2031 Regional Land Transport Plan;

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

3           Notes the public consultation submissions received;

Nees/Webber

CARRIED

4           Supports the recommendations of the Regional Land Transport Hearings Sub-Committee in relation to the prioritisation of significant activities;

Iles/Nees

CARRIED

Mayor Webber opposed the motion

5           Endorses the Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2031 as recommended by the RLTP Hearings subcommittee for submission to Regional Council;

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

Mayor Webber opposed the motion

6           Delegates to the General Manager, Strategy and Science authority to make minor numerical, editorial or presentational amendments prior to final publication,  including correction of the status of the Takitimu Northern Link Stage 2: Ōmōkoroa to Te Puna in Table 16: Significant expenditure on activities not funded from the NLTF, in the RLTP and movement to Development of the Bay of Plenty Transport Programme.

Nees/Thurston

CARRIED

 

5.4

Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2021 consultation

Presentation: Speed Management Plan: Objective ID A3828588

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The key issue for the committee was the extent to which they considered this was an issue best dealt with at a regional level

·         Noted concerns over the way the process was set out and the potential for duplication for a significant amount of coordination work.

Key Points - Members:

·         Setting speed limits should continue to be undertaken by each road controlling authority (RCA) in their own areas

·         The additional cost that would be incurred could be cumbersome for the committee to manage, therefore was supportive of Waka Kotahi seeking different ways to coordinate across district boundaries

·         Supported the letter for raising concerns as this added an unnecessary layer of complexity and it was unclear which problem was attempting to be solved.

In Response to Questions:

·         For the amount of work this would entail, it was unknown what the benefit to RTC would be.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2021 consultation;

2           Notes the key issues and concerns summarised in this report.

3           Recommends that the attached letter be sent as part of the consultation submission;

4           Delegates approval of the Regional Transport Committee consultation submission to the Chair;

5           Confirms the decision has a medium level of significance as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Council has identified and assessed different options and considered community views as part of making the decision, in proportion to the level of significance.

Nees/Iles

CARRIED

David Speirs abstained from voting.

 

 

6.   Verbal Update Opportunity from Committee Members and Advisors

6.1

Verbal Updates from Committee Members and Advisors

Presentation: Update from New Zealand Police: Objective ID A3828586

 

Brent Crowe – Road Safety Advisor, New Zealand Police:

Key Points:

·         The updated figure of road deaths for the year to date after Queens Birthday weekend was 145.  Of these there were 21 deaths in the Bay of Plenty region.  Provided a breakdown of vehicle user type, location and causation details for each sub-region

·         Motorcycle accidents were an emerging trend for the Bay of Plenty, particularly the manner in which they were being operated e.g. aggressively and at excessive speed, lack of safety apparel/ protective gear

·         Rural and state highway deaths were a prominent feature across the region

·         ‘Impairment’ included alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs or fatigue

·         An impaired driver operation in Western Bay of Plenty was run over four days in May 2021, yielding 180 prosecutions

·         Another disturbing trend was inter-district travel, where people had been travelling significant distances in an impaired state, often with family or young children in the vehicle

·         Fully supported the concept of speed management but consultation was crucial to get a consistent voice across the Bay of Plenty and noted that NZ Police were the end user as far as implementation / enforcement

·         It was important to get speed management right and to be realistic, with in-depth evidence based speed limits set

·         Having a sound reason for speed limits was crucial as without it, public trust and confidence were diminished which was a key priority for NZ Police

·         Roadwork speeds also needed to be considered in a consistent approach to what was realistic, particularly over the weekends

·         In the Bay of Plenty, the target for excessive speed was focused on the deliberate, reckless speeds that were endangering people’s lives, rather than the 0-10 km excess

·         It was important to take note of the investigations and the data, not just assuming major causes of serious crashes were speed related.

In Response to Questions:

·          Every fatality and serious injury crash was attended by a highly trained serious crash analyst, with the investigation being very thorough and recording all details relevant to the car, driver circumstances and environment.

Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability Advisor

Key Points:

·          Outlined key findings related to transport from the Climate Change Commission:

o  Reinforcement of the need for compact communities

o  Plans to support substantially increased funding from central government for active and public transport

o  A move to reduce public transport fares (previously for children and community card holders - now suggested for everyone)

o  A move to congestion charging

o  Increased focus on rapid transit and frequent transport.

Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga Advisor

Key Points:

·          Whilst the Port was continuing to see strong growth, a large portion corresponded with increased growth on rail and increased growth on trans-shipments

·          Continuing with plans for a berth extension and had an application for resource consent  had been lodged.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Whakatāne District Council

Key Points:

·          Had received strong public support to undertake more work around the public transport system, particularly for the more isolated communities

·          Reiterated the importance of a second bridge for Whakatāne as part of spatial planning.

Cr Jane Nees – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Key Points:

·         Outlined some of the decisions made by Council in the LTP:

o  Optimisation of the public transport network in the Western Bay of Plenty (WBOP)

o  Substantial work on upgrading Rotorua public transport network.

o  Funded study on decarbonisation of buses

o  Extended pilot for free fares for children in WBOP and extended the student trial to the Eastern Bay of Plenty to try and increase public transport uptake.

Mayor Garry Webber – Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Key Points:

·          Expressed concern over the amount of maintenance funds being spent on local roads by territorial authorities in the region

·          Requested a level of independence to the RLTP process review.

 

 

4.14 pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                               

                                                                                        Cr Lyall Thurston

Chairperson, Regional Transport Committee