Regional Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 19 May 2022, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Bay of Plenty Regional House Chambers, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga and via Zoom (Audio Visual Meeting)

Chairperson:               Cr Lyall Thurston (Bay of Plenty Regional Council)

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Jane Nees (Bay of Plenty Regional Council)

Members:                    Mayor Malcolm Campbell - Kawerau District Council, Deputy Mayor Faylene Tunui – Alternate, Kawerau District Council, Mayor Lyn Riesterer - Ōpōtiki District Council, David Speirs - Waka Kotahi, Angus Hodgson – Alternate, KiwiRail (non-voting)

Members (via Zoom): Mayor Garry Webber - Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, Tauranga City Council (partial attendance), Mayor Steve Chadwick - Rotorua Lakes Council, Cr David Moore - Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council, Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council

External Advisors:      Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga, Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability Advisor, John Galbraith (via Zoom) – Freight Advisor

In Attendance:            Cr Andrew von Dadelszen (via Zoom), Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science, Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Mayor Judy Turner - Whakatāne District Council, Commissioner Anne Tolley – Tauranga City Council, Helen Rogers – KiwiRail, Brent Crowe – New Zealand Police, Commissioner Selwood (for late arrival/early departure)

 

1.     Apologies 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Accepts the apologies from Mayor Judy Turner, Commissioner Anne Tolley, Helen Rogers, Brent Crowe and Commissioner Selwood (for late arrival and early departure) tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

2.     Public Forum

None

3.     Order of Business

Item 6.1 Chairperson’s report would be taken in two parts to accommodate the availability of Commissioner Selwood for Items 6.2 and 6.3.

4.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

5.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

5.1

Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 15 March 2022

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Confirms the Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 15 March 2022 as a true and correct record.

Chadwick/Nees

CARRIED

 

6.     Reports

 

6.1

Chairperson's Report

Tabled Document 1 - Emissions Reduction Plan - Key Transport Targets and Goals: Objective ID A4106209  

Presentation: Emissions Reduction Plan: Objective ID A4106212   

 

Team Leader – Transport and Urban Strategy Lorraine Cheyne presented this item (via Zoom), supported by General Manager, Strategy and Science, Namouta Poutasi.

Key Points:

·         Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability Advisor presented Tabled Document 1.  This document was compiled from the table of actions in the Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), specific to matters of interest from a Regional Transport Committee (RTC) perspective, in a more chronological sequence than the ERP

·         The ERP was unique as this was the first time a whole of government approach to climate change had been reached and all core government  responsibilities were woven together throughout

·         The graph on ERP presentation slide four showed how each focus area had influence in the reduction of emissions over the various budgets, and demonstrated the increasing significance of the role of transport emissions reductions to the overall reduction of emissions across the three budgets.

Key Points - Members:

·         The ERP needed to be analysed to ensure targets were correct at a local level and to identify if anything had been missed from a regional approach

·         Expressed concern that the scrap-and-replace trial would still be beyond the means of many rural low income households and other options may need to be considered

·         The focus should be on emissions reduction, not reducing vehicle kilometres.

In Response to Questions:

·         As the ERP had only just become available, analysis was still underway on the document and its implications.  May need to ensure the reduction of Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) work was aligned and on track.  Further analysis on VKT reduction for the region and economic implications needed

·         The focus for lower income households would be on the scrap-and-replace trial  - it had not been specified whether this would include rural and urban households.

 

Item for Staff Follow Up:

·         Review the ERP and analyse the implications to the Regional Transport Committee, then report back, in the interim circulate a summary.

 

9.30 am - Commissioner Selwood entered the meeting.

 

6.2

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Quarterly Update - May 2022

Presentation: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Quarterly Update: Objective ID A4108362  

Director Regional Relationships David Speirs presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Provided an update on the new regulatory funding model and the 30-Year Plan: Baseline Network Version (the digital tool was now operative - launched 14 March 2022)

·         The Business Case Refresh was strongly informed by feedback from key stakeholders.  This was principles based for developing business cases, rather than regulatory based.  Urged members to view the proposed changes as input was still required and some of these needed to be tested with stakeholders

·         The employment initiative launched through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) was proving successful

·         Bilingual traffic and school signs were beginning to be rolled out across the country – the process had been made lengthy by detailed requirements of what signs can and cannot have

·         The Setting of Speed Limits 2022 rule took effect today and introduced the concept of a regional speed management plan on a three year cycle, this process would be coordinated by the RTC and a Regional Speed Management Plan must be set

·         Construction on the new Wairoa Road bridge would begin at the end of the month

·         A challenge with Takitimu North Stage 2 was the freshwater species present along the route, which impacted the schedule

·         Encouraged the public to take advantage of the Eastern Link Toll Road waiving tolls from 4-7 pm Monday to Friday for the next three weeks on westbound lanes.

Key Points - Members:

·         Expressed frustration around current business case processes and hoped that having the strategic alignments would add credibility, with the amendments expediting the process.

in Response to Questions:

·          For cost and practicality reasons, it was intended that bilingual signage would be rolled out nationally as new signs were required or needed replacing

·         The changes to driver licencing fees was to be implemented as soon as possible

·         Waka Kotahi were supportive of a circular economy and alternative resources, and were working with Tūhoe on trials for their green road concept

·         Legibility of the bilingual signs was important – to ensure this, the text remained the same size and the overall size of the sign was increased.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Quarterly Update - May 2022.

Speirs/Thurston

CARRIED

Decisions Required

6.3

RLTP Variation - Western Corridor Growth Management – Tauriko West DBC [Enabling Works]

Senior Transport Planner Andrew Williams presented this item (via Zoom).

Key Points - Members:

·         Endorsed this variation and underlined the criticality from a provision of housing perspective

·         Considered that this was an unintended consequence of focusing on emissions instead of roading to meet communities housing requirements

·         Funding toward emissions reduction for public transport services would be contingent on having the services available from the beginning.

In Response to Questions:

·         The majority of funding for this activity would come from Waka Kotahi, which meant a reallocation of projects across the priority list in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), not specifically in the Bay of Plenty.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, RLTP Variation - Western Corridor Growth Management – Tauriko West DBC [Enabling Works];

2           Notes that the proposed variation to the Bay of Plenty Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31 to enable the inclusion of a property phase to the activity:  Western Corridor Growth Management – Tauriko West DBC [Enabling Works], triggers the Regional Land Transport Plan’s significance policy; and

3           Approves the proposed variation to the Bay of Plenty Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31 to enable the inclusion of a property phase to the activity:  Western Corridor Growth Management – Tauriko West DBC [Enabling Works], and in doing so, exercises its right to determine that the variation is non-significant for the purposes of public consultation.

Webber/Nees

CARRIED

 

10.38 am – Commissioner Selwood withdrew from the meeting.

 

10.45 am – The meeting adjourned.

 

11:04 am – The meeting resumed.

 

6.4

Chairperson's Report (Continued)

Presentation: Western Bay of Plenty Operational Road Safety Group: Objective ID A4110578  

 

Key Points:

·         Provided an update of the status of Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) applications that the RTC endorsed in December 2021:

o    Ōpōtiki District Council – at a sensitive stage of negotiations, a public statement to be released soon

o    Tauranga City Council – of the four applications made, two had been approved in principle subject to no negotiation (Tauriko West and Te Papa)

o    Western Bay of Plenty District Council – application had progressed to the next stage for roading improvements at the State Highway (SH) 2/Ōmōkoroa intersection

o    Rotorua Lakes Council – the request for stormwater infrastructure to support transport infrastructure and enable housing intensification was through to the negotiation stage

·         Rotorua Lakes Council Safer Journeys Coordinator Helen van Beek provided an update (via Zoom) and video of practical driving programme initiative Driver Directions:

o    (204) Driver Directions - A free course to upskill young drivers - YouTube

o    This programme had evolved from a previously theory based programme, with funding from Waka Kotahi

o    There were seven one-day courses held per year during school holidays, with qualified driving instructors, volunteers from the Rotary Club and NZ Police.  Students attended with the caregiver teaching them to drive and the vehicle they were learning in.  Covered a wide range of skills including car maintenance, cyclists and truck experiences on the road, braking safely, reversing, parallel parking and safe following distances

·         Tauranga City Council Travel Safe Team Leader Sonia Lynds provided an update (via Zoom) on behalf of the Western Bay of Plenty Road Safety Group:

o    Collaboration with traffic safety engineers across councils and with Waka Kotahi, NZ Police and ACC was highly valued

o    Promotions were aimed toward all ages, with some focus on younger age groups, cyclists and vulnerable road/footpath users

o    Two-day young drivers workshops were held over school holidays covering topics such as heavy vehicle education and driver behaviour

o    Relationships with primary and secondary schools were important in keeping road safety top of mind

o    There was a strong focus on cycling safety and skills for all ages.

Key Points - Members:

·         Commended the work of the Drivers Direction course and the volunteers/service groups involved

·         The ‘boy racer’ issue was becoming increasingly dangerous, especially in rural areas

·         Expressed concern over vulnerable infrastructure and requested a submission be made by the RTC on the National Adaptation Plan.

 

In Response to Questions:

·         There were many elements that prioritised roads within the National Adaptation Plan and different interventions being worked through.

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

 

 

6.5

Eastern Districts and Rotorua Lake District Travel Demand Management (TDM) Programme Scoping Studies

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item (via Zoom).

Key Points:

·         This started the process in understanding how people currently travel, particularly when they are using single occupancy cars and how this behaviour may be changed in the future

·         TDM aimed to understand people’s needs in a variety of contexts including geographic, social and cultural

·         TDM was also supportive of infrastructure investments and service delivery

·         Scoping studies for Rotorua and Eastern Bay of Plenty had been completed, Western Bay of Plenty scoping study would be complete by the end of July 2022.

In Response to Questions:

·         A prioritised implementation plan included costs and an action plan/timeframes will form next steps following the finalisation of the study

·         This work was strongly supportive of all work underway through the Transport System Plan (TSP), and was intended to underpin this, rather than replace it.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Eastern Districts and Rotorua Lake District Travel Demand Management Programme Scoping Studies;

2           Receives the draft Travel Demand Management Scoping Studies for the Eastern Districts and Rotorua Lakes District

(a)    Notes that a partner prioritised implementation plan will be prepared to   be considered through respective organisations decision making processes;   

(b) Notes that once the implementation plan is completed, further   consideration of implementation activities will occur through future annual plan and long term plan processes;

3           Notes that the Western Bay Scoping Study is underway; and

4           Agrees that the Travel Demand Management programme is within the scope of the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Chadwick/Riesterer

CARRIED

 

 

 

6.6

New Zealand Freight and Supply Chain Issues Paper

Presentation: NZ Freight and Supply Chain Issues Paper: Objective ID A4106286  

Senior Transport Planner Matthew Kilpatrick presented this item (via Zoom).

Key Points:

·         The Port of Tauranga was the key driver of freight activity and goods movement, and the largest export port in New Zealand

·         Annual traffic volumes in Tauranga had increased by 8%, impacting the movement of freight and goods on key corridors.

Key Points - Members:

·         More updated information was available from the Port of Tauranga Annual Report June 2021.  Noted that coastal shipping was less restrictive than that stated on Page 212 of the agenda

·         An important part of reducing CO2 emissions for the Port was for the planned berth extension to occur, which would allow larger vessels and the implementation of electric cranes

·         Important to note that a central government decision around the future of the Ports of Auckland was due to be made in 2023

·         Freight movements in the region would continue to increase and understanding resilience on road and coastal shipping networks was fundamental

·         Raised the importance of the East Coast Main Trunk as a key issue for strategic investment that needed to be made sooner rather than later.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·         Seek Port of Tauranga input into the submission prior to finalisation.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, New Zealand Freight and Supply Chain Issues Paper;

2           Endorses the formal submission attached which outlines a general support on the paper, including the following amendments:

·         Emphasise the importance of the Port of Tauranga;

·         Link the Rail Network Investment Programme and rail opportunities including electrification;

·         Ensuring route security and the impact of road safety, and

·         Link to Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation and Kawerau Inland Terminal;

3           Delegates authority to the Chair to sign off the final amended version of the submission.

Webber/Chadwick

CARRIED

 

Information Only

6.7

Draft Regional Public Transport Plan

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

In Response to Questions:

·         The Regional Public Transport Plan set the long term vision and policies for public transport across the region in the next ten years.  Various sub-regional partnerships (e.g. TSP) would then take this work and establish how the policies would be implemented - business cases, network refreshes etc

·         Any business case that came through the TSP would have a strategic case associated with it, which would be cognisant of all existing policies at a national, regional and local level, therefore providing sufficient opportunity for consistency to be delivered through the process.

 

 

Resolved

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Draft Regional Public Transport Plan;

2           Notes that the draft document has been developed in a manner consistent with the broader transport policy direction in the Bay of Plenty Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31.

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

 

 

6

Verbal Update Opportunity from Committee Members and Advisors

 

Key Points:

           Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability Advisor

·         A key contextual issue in the ERP was that although it presented a significant change with a broad scope, internationally it did not measure up.

Mayor Riesterer – Ōpōtiki District Council

·          Noted that the population of Ōpōtiki was now over 10,000, a recognisable milestone.

Mayor Campbell and Deputy Mayor Faylene Tunui – Kawerau District Council

·         Were still waiting for 70 km/hr signs requested for SH34 through Kawerau district

·         Raised an issue with the new two-lane roundabout where irresponsible drivers were attempting to race trucks around it

·         Encouraged by the driver safety operations in Rotorua and Western Bay of Plenty

·         Highlighted the increasing need for another bridge in Whakatāne

·         The TDM did not take into consideration the movement of people in and out of Kawerau and were interested in discovering how, why and where from/to that people were travelling

·         Requested further input into the TDM and discussions with Kawerau DC staff and Councillors prior to finalising.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Whakatāne District Council

·         Route security was vital for freight traffic travelling through the Eastern Bay of Plenty and the deterioration of highways was significant, with surface repairs not addressing the issues.

Mayor Chadwick – Rotorua Lakes Council

·         Advised of another new product for a circular economy – crushed glass which could be used for pathways etc.  A trial was underway and these types of options should be considered

·         Commended the driver licensing affordability changes as having a license was a passport to work and wellbeing for young people in rural areas

Cr Nees – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·         Acknowledged the new Trust set up which Deputy Mayor Iles was involved with, and the positive rural transport options being considered

·         Consultation continued on the Rotorua Network Refresh

·         On-demand trial in Tauranga was being rescoped and expected to be returned to the Public Transport Committee in September 2022

·         A bus decarbonisation feasibility study was underway

·         There was funding in the Annual Plan for a Bay of Plenty transport reduction plan, which would be assisted by some of the TDM work

·         Free fare trials for youth had been reduced to only on school days/around school hours to address antisocial behaviour issues in the Tauranga bus network.  A wider taskforce approach had also been suggested.

 

12.37 pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                          

                                                                                   Cr Lyall Thurston

Chairperson, Regional Transport Committee