Regional Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Friday 15 December 2023, 3.10 pm (held at the conclusion of the Regional Land Transport Plan  Workshop)

Venue:                         Tōtara Room, Whakatāne District Council, Ground floor, Commerce Street, Whakatāne

Chairperson:               Cr Lyall Thurston - Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ken Shirley - BOPRC

Members:                    Mayor Faylene Tunui - Kawerau District Council, Mayor David Moore - Ōpōtiki District Council, Deputy Mayor John Scrimgeour – Alternate, Western Bay of Plenty District Council (via Zoom), Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, Tauranga City Council (via Zoom),

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Alternate, BOPRC,

Mayor James Denyer - Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Mayor Victor Luca - Whakatāne District Council, Deputy Mayor Lesley Immink – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council, Jess Andrew – Alternate, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA)

In Attendance:            External Advisors: Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability, Peter Bedford – on behalf of New Zealand Automobile Association

                                    BOPRC: Cr Ron Scott, Cr Malcolm Campbell, Michael Seabourne – Director, Public Transport, Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor


Apologies:                  David Speirs - NZTA, Angus Hodgson – KiwiRail (non-voting), Lyndon Hammond – Alternate, KiwiRail  (non-voting), Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga Advisor, Greg Pert - Freight Advisor, Stacey Spall - NZ Automobile Association Advisor, Mayor Tania Tapsell - Rotorua Lakes Council, Logan Marsh – NZ Police Road Safety Advisor, Chairman Doug Leeder – BOPRC (ex-officio)


Text Box: Please note: This meeting was livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Regional Transport Committee Meeting - 15 December 2023 - YouTube

1.     Apologies


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from David Speirs, Angus Hodgson, Lyndon Hammond, Dan Kneebone, Greg Pert, Stacey Spall, Mayor Tapsell, Logan Marsh and Chairman Leeder tendered at the meeting.



2.     Public Forum


Mike Williams (via Zoom) - State Highway 2 Western Bay of Plenty Safety

Tabled Document 1 - Traffic Volumes Exiting sides roads between Katikati and Ōmōkoroa: Objective ID A4568659  

Tabled Document 2 - Map - State Highway 2 from Katikati: Objective ID A4568663   


Due to technical issues with Zoom audio, Mike Williams was unable to present at this meeting. He was invited to present at the next meeting scheduled for Friday, 9 February 2024.

3.     Order of Business

Agenda item 7.1 was considered following Agenda Item 2 to accommodate  technical issues.  Agenda Item 10 was considered together with Agenda Item 3 at the discretion of the Chair, to accept and consider the item not on the agenda, and ensure an efficient meeting process.

4.     Presentations


Eastern Bay of Plenty Road Safety Operational Group – Ōpōtiki District Road Policing

Presentation: A plea for increased roading Police resourcing in the Ōpōtiki District: Objective ID A4568803   

Presented by: Cr Gavin Dennis - Whakatāne District Councillor and Chair of the Eastern Bay Road Safety Operational Group


Key Points:

·           The Eastern Bay Road Safety Operational Group covered Kawerau, Ōpōtiki and Whakatāne districts

·           Outlined the risk areas for road safety in the Eastern Bay

·           There was an education programme in place to address these risks with the community

·           Embedded behaviours were difficult to change

·           Provided a background of fatal and serious crashes in the Eastern Bay from 2019 – 2023

·           Compared the number of accidents involving death and serious injury, by District

·           Ōpōtiki communities were particularly at risk and over-represented in the 2022 Communities at Risk Register

·           Some of the issues included difficulty in sourcing police for the Ōpōtiki District and an overall lack of numbers for the work that was required, including the necessity of a dedicated road policing resource

·           Expressed a strong commitment to reducing death and serious injury in the Eastern Bay subregion.

Key Points - Members:

·         Noted that Ōpōtiki District was also a corridor to Gisborne and the East Cape, therefore many of the statistics provided included motorists travelling through

·         Considered that Ōpōtiki District had not been fully staffed with Police since 2014

·         Encouraged the Western Bay to also look into the potential of re-establishing a similar road safety committee for the subregion as the previous one had been disbanded.



Item for Staff Follow Up:

·           Draft a letter of support for increased, dedicated road policing in the Ōpōtiki District, for the Eastern Bay Road Safety Operational Group to include with their letter to be sent to local Members of Parliament, Minister of Transport and Minister of Police.  To include this letter with the Chair’s report to the next scheduled meeting on 9 February 2024 for members to review and sign.

5.   Item not on the Agenda


Chairperson's Report

Tabled Document 3 - Chair's Report - Item not on the Agenda: Objective ID A4565986


Key Points:

·         Outlined the various correspondence received after the agenda was distributed, which was included in the tabled Chair’s report

·         A press release was expected during the week of 18-22 December 2023 by Hon. Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport to set out strategic priorities and expectations for transport and the new Government Policy Statement (GPS)

·         The main concern around rural school bus safety was buses travelling at open road speeds with children unrestrained.  An additional concern was the danger facing children as they travelled to the bus stops to wait on rural roads with traffic travelling at open road speeds.  Chair Scott from Environment Canterbury considered that this was a national issue and sought support from regional councils across the country

o       Noted that BOPRC did not currently administer any rural school buses, however there were some operating in the region.  There would be no direct implications for BOPRC should there be any change to legislation around this issue

·         The new government intended to replace The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 which could impact work being undertaken in the Regional Speed Management Plan space, therefore no further progress would be made until the new Rule was introduced and understood.  

Key Point - Members:

·         In order to gain progress through sending a letter regarding rural school bus safety, it would be more effective to also propose a solution, rather than just stating the problem.

In Response to Questions:

·           Within the Chair’s report, there was a Ministry of Transport link to statistics on rural bus accidents

·           The Rotorua Bus Network Refresh was in the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) as a proposed activity, but as the cost was less than $2M, it was not classed as a Significant Activity.


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the item not on the agenda, Chairperson’s Report, notes that the reason this item is not on the agenda is the information was provided after the agenda was prepared, and cannot be delayed due to the timely nature of the information;

2          Receives the report, Chairperson's Report and accepts it as an Item not on the Agenda;

3          Delegates authority to the Chair of the Bay of Plenty Regional Transport Committee to review and sign a letter in support of addressing the issues associated with rural school bus safety.



6.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

7.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 31 August 2023



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Confirms the Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 31 August 2023 as a true and correct record, subject to the following amendment:

·         Remove Mayor Luca from the Member’s list of attendees as he was an apology for this meeting.



8.     Reports


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Quarterly Update

Presentation: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Quarterly Update: Objective ID A4568652   

Presented by: Jess Andrew – Regional Manager, System Design, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Key Points:

·         Awaiting a new Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS), which was being undertaken by the Ministry of Transport – the final GPS would come into effect on 1 July 2024, although there was uncertainty around upcoming changes that would be made

o     Encouraged the Committee to keep progressing the development of the RLTP despite this uncertainty.  Highlighted the importance of continuing to prioritise Significant Activities to make regional needs and priorities clear, regardless of the funding source

·         Speed cameras were now known as safety cameras due to new multi-functionality – more cameras would be provided across the network, focused on key areas to prioritise placement of fixed and mobile cameras

·         State Highway 2 Baypark to Bayfair Link would largely be fully functional for Christmas, with some finishing works completed early 2024.  Temporary speed limits would remain in place until all works were completed and road users were used to the new layout

·         Hewletts Road rail level-crossing safety improvements had been installed and NZTA would continue working on a long term plan to further increase safety at the site

·         Takitimu North Link (TNL) – construction work was beginning on the new Cambridge Road overbridge which would connect Bethlehem and Tauriko.  These works necessitated closing a section of Moffat Road for three months from January 2024.  Approximately 500 people had attended recent community engagement events regarding the TNL

·         Te Ngae Junction intersection of State Highways 30 and 33 had been completed below expected budget and timeframes, which connected Rotorua and Whakatāne.

In Response to Questions:

·         As part of the skate park works, safety in the Hull Road level crossing area was also being investigated and would see improvements.  There was joint responsibility for safety at level crossings between NZTA and KiwiRail, sometimes including Tauranga City Council, dependent on the crossing location and other factors

·         The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) was an operational standard that worked separately to the GPS and NZTA were working through operational policy to provide guidance on how this should be implemented following new government direction.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

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




Regional Land Transport Plan - Implementation Report

Presented by: Andrew Williams – Team Leader, Transport Planning

Key Points – Environmental Sustainability Advisor:

·         Considered that previous public transport aspirations had not been achieved and suggested a closer look at the reasons for projects that were not able to be delivered.

In Response to Questions:

·         There were opportunities to learn from the last Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) to ensure that the new version was representative of what was possible.  Noted that the Committee created a list of what needed to be achieved and delivered through the RLTP, with no direct control over many of the aspects.  There was a series of factors across infrastructure delivery at present which made for a significantly challenging environment.  When considering measures within the RLTP, it was important to consider accountability and what was able to be controlled against what could only be monitored

·         Tauranga State Highway 2 to City Centre project was the managed lane study which had been progressed through the Vehicles Kilometres Travelled (VKT) reduction funding.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Receives the report, Regional Land Transport Plan - Implementation Report.





Verbal Update Opportunity for Committee Members and Advisors


Mayor James Denyer – Western Bay of Plenty District Council:

·           Council would be discussing the speed management plan at its meeting on 19 December 2023 and anticipated many of the changes from the new government, with a consideration on how to relate these to the public.

Mayor Victor Luca – Whakatāne District Council:

·         Speed management plans were originally scheduled to go to the final Council meeting of 2023, however the discussion would now be delayed to a future meeting.  

4.09 PM – the meeting closed.



                                                                                                                                   Cr Lyall Thurston

Chairperson, Regional Transport Committee