Regional Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Friday 9 February 2024, 12.30 pm

Venue:                         Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

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

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ken Shirley (BOPRC)

Members:                    Mayor David Moore - Ōpōtiki District Council, Deputy Mayor John Scrimgeour – Alternate, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, David Speirs - NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (Waka Kotahi), Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Alternate, BOPRC, Cr Berice Julian – Alternate, Kawerau District Council, Cr Conan O'Brien – Alternate, Rotorua Lakes Council (via Zoom), Chairman Doug Leeder – BOPRC (ex-officio), Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, Tauranga City Council (via Zoom), Mayor James Denyer - Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Mayor Victor Luca - Whakatāne District Council

In Attendance:            External Advisors:  Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability, Greg Pert - Freight, Stacey Spall - NZ Automobile Association, Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga, Inspector Logan Marsh – NZ Police Road Safety


                                                      BOPRC: Cr Stuart Crosby (via Zoom), Cr Jane Nees, Cr Kat Macmillan, Cr Ron Scott, Mike Seabourne – Director, Public Transport, Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Mayor Faylene Tunui - Kawerau District Council, Mayor Tania Tapsell - Rotorua Lakes Council, Commission Chair Anne Tolley - Tauranga City Council, Angus Hodgson – KiwiRail

1.     Apologies


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Angus Hodgson, Mayor Tunui, Commissioner Tolley and Mayor Tapsell tendered at the meeting.



2.     Public Forum


Mike Williams – State Highway 2 Western Bay of Plenty Safety

Tabled Document 1 - Traffic volumes coming out of side roads between Katikati and Ōmōkoroa which do not have roundabouts (or proposed roundabouts): Objective ID A4600720

Tabled Document 2 - State Highway 2 map from Katikati showing proposed roundabout and wire rope barrier locations: Objective ID A4600723  


Key Points:

·         Highlighted potential effects to residents of the wire rope safety barriers proposed by Waka Kotahi to be installed on State Highway 2 between Katikati and Ōmōkoroa, particularly intersections where no roundabouts would be present:

o     Residents unable to cross these intersections would have increased travel time to commute or visit neighbouring towns e.g. Katikati which could impact upon local businesses with people being forced to travel in a different direction to shop etc.

o     Further considerations to be made were impacts to public transport and the additional response time for emergency services to attend a serious event

o     Acknowledged the open days Waka Kotahi held during community consultation but noted that most of the submissions received were against the wire safety barriers being installed, particularly across intersections

·             Suggested alternative options e.g. seagull intersections

·             Considered that wire rope barriers did not enhance safety at intersections, and could create additional danger by causing road users to perform U-turns to travel in their desired direction.

Key Points - Members:

·           Shared concern over wire rope barriers being carried through intersections, and the implications arising from this.

In Response to Questions – Waka Kotahi:

·            One of the primary functions of wire rope barriers was to prevent right turns out of an intersection, along with preventing head on collisions

·            Many alternatives had been investigated by road engineers before wire rope safety barriers were chosen as the safest option - there were trade-offs between the cost of death and serious injury and additional travel time for residents

·            The Bay of Plenty region had four of the ten most dangerous state highways in the country 

·            Would pass comments made onto to the safety team for response (Committee Advisor to provide contact details).


3.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

4.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 15 December 2023



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Confirms the Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 15 December 2023 as a true and correct record.




5.     Presentations


NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Update

Presentation: NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Quarterly Update: Objective ID A4600823  

Presented by: David Speirs - Director, Regional Relationships


Key Points:

·         The Ministry of Transport (MoT) reviewed the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) and the next draft was anticipated to be released late February/early March 2024.  This would determine the funding categories available, and the priority that each of those would receive

·         Electric Vehicles would now be subject to Road User Charges (RUC) from 1 April 2024, including plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV)

·         The Setting of Speed Limits Rule was to be revoked and a new rule was being developed.  A key change from this was that the requirement to develop a Speed Management Plan was now discretionary, rather than mandatory

·         Outlined the maintenance and operations programme for the 2023/24 season and the revised targets, including initial dates for night time closures to State Highway 29 (February to July 2024)

·         State Highway 2 Baypark to Bayfair link – all major infrastructure components were now completed

·         State Highway 29 Tauriko enabling works – the construction phase was expected to commence in March 2024, beginning with Cambridge Road

·         Takitimu North Link - Cambridge Road Overbridge flyover required a three month road closure and diversion

·         The remaining two sections of safety improvements on State Highway 2 Wainui Road to Ōpōtiki were awaiting funding

·         Completion of Phase One of State Highway 30 Eastern Corridor Improvements at Rotorua were expected to be completed mid-2024.

Key Points - Members:

·         There had been a lack of public consultation for introduction of the electric vehicle RUC, particularly PHEVs and agreed that further consideration needed to be given over how they could be charged in the future e.g. dynamic road pricing

·           Resealing operations on State Highway 2 coincided with the end of the school holidays, creating a significant travel delay (up to two hours Katikati to Tauranga)

·           Expressed concern that the removal of passing lanes on State Highway 2 had not been sufficiently communicated to the public.

In Response to Questions:

·            The intention had been to introduce RUC on electric vehicles once they reached two percent of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet, which had now been exceeded

·            Existing Speed Management Plans that had already been certified would remain in place

·            Impacts had been observed due to the price and supply challenges of bitumen

·            There were significant efficiency and safety benefits to temporarily closing a portion of a road for maintenance and operations, noting that one of the biggest challenges was identifying safe and appropriate detours

·            Modelling for State Highway 20 enabling works would be available once the contract was processed

·            Hewletts Road sub-area upgrade was progressing and was in the consultation phase with a preliminary design.


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1         Receives the Presentation, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Update.



6.     Reports


Chairperson's Report



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Receives the report, Chairperson's Report;

2          Approves the attached letter of support (Attachment 2) signed by the Chair on behalf of the RTC, to be sent to the Eastern Bay Road Safety Group.




Decisions Required


Approval of the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2024 and Statement of Proposal for Public Consultation

Presentation: Draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-34 and Statement of Proposal: Objective ID A4605035

Tabled Document 3 - Draft Statement of Proposal: Objective ID A4601037  

Presented by: Oliver Haycock – Manager, Transport Planning, Andrew Williams – Team Leader, Transport Planning, Niki Carling – Senior Transport Planner and Tapuwaerenga Hall – Transport Planner

Key Points:

·             The draft 2024-2034 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) document was almost complete with feedback from members incorporated and graphics input underway

·             Acknowledged that the current programme required the draft RLTP to go out for consultation in approximately two weeks’ time to meet statutory obligations.

Key Points - Members:

·             The sense of urgency within the Executive Summary and the Statement of Proposal regarding the significance of the issues from an economic and affordability perspective should be enhanced.  The size and significance of the funding issues should be addressed and made clearer, and the urgent need for alternative funding methods to bridge the gap should be added.  Suggested the wording from Page 21 of the draft RLTP which showed the significance of these issues, be up front in the Executive Summary

·             Questioned where the wording on Page 48 of the draft RLTP under inclusive access came from: ‘opportunities to allocate national land transport funding to Māori roadways’

·             Noted the incongruity between the Headline Target and sub-target for mode shift.  The Headline Target was 20% for Public Transport (PT) and Active Modes, whereas the sub-target for PT was 10% - the percentage between the sub-target and the target had to be kept consistent.  Otherwise, there would be a need to achieve a 27% increase per annum for PT to achieve the 20% target by 2032, which the Environmental Sustainability Advisor considered was unlikely

·             Ensure that the regionwide map was updated to include the prioritisation revisions made in the workshop held directly prior to the meeting, and reflected representation across the entire region

·             Thanked staff and members of the Regional Advisory Group for the work undertaken in developing the RLTP.

In Response to Questions:

·             Mode shift would be correlated to the level of investment and the speed of which projects were delivered to support people travelling using alternative modes.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report - Approval of the draft statement of proposal for the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2024 – 2034 (draft RLTP 2024) and the proposed consultation approach;

2           Approves the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 document for public consultation in accordance with the requirements of the Land Transport Management Act 2003;

3            Authorises the Manager, Transport Planning, in consultation with the Chair of the RTC, to include additional text describing the regional benefits associated with top priority projects added at the workshop held immediately prior to this meeting; 

4           Authorises the undertaking of a special consultative procedure, as provided for by the Local Government Act 2002, to consult on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan;

5           Approves the statement of proposal, including the consultation questions;

6           Authorises the Manager, Transport Planning, in consultation with the Chair of the RTC, to include the activity prioritisation list (as per guidance provided at the workshop held immediately prior to this meeting) and to make any necessary formatting and minor grammatical changes to the draft Regional Land Transport Plan and Statement of Proposal prior to its release to the public; and

7                 Notes that Hearings and Deliberations on the draft 2024-2034 Regional Land Transport Plan will be undertaken by the full Committee.




7.     Verbal Update Opportunities from Committee Members and Advisors

Greg Pert – Freight Advisor

·            Highlighted a recent media release regarding the use of heavier and longer trucks now being required to move the same volume of freight in order to reduce emissions and congestion, as well as reduce the safety risk for other road users. 

Stacey Spall – NZ Automobile Association  (AA) Advisor

·            Outlined work underway with the AA Research Foundation producing road safety focused research for New Zealand, which was expected to be completed by June 2024 and focused on low cost safety treatments for rural intersections.


Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga Advisor

·            The Port remained committed to delivering resilient infrastructure to New Zealand and advised that an interim decision had been received on 13 December 2023 for Stage One of the Port berth extension at Sulphur Point, subject to a number of court directions.  The focus over the next six months would be on compliance with these. 



Inspector Logan Marsh – NZ Police Road Safety Advisor

Presentation: New Zealand Police Bay of Plenty Road Safety Update: Objective ID A4605415  


Key Points:

·            Provided an update over the past 12 months in the Bay of Plenty region:

o   Road deaths – There had already been five fatalities on the road this year

o   Total traffic notices by subregion had increased significantly in 2023 – over 70,000 in the past year, with notable increases in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Taupō and Rotorua

o   Over 287,000 alcohol tests had been carried out in the region.  High results were still being recorded for evidential breath tests

·            Outlined NZ Police priorities and focus for 2024 including rural/state highway locations, driver impairment and distraction/inattention, adherence to speed limits

·            Education – Beginning implementation of The Right Track Programme: working proactively with a focus on young people in the education space.

Key Points - Members:

·            Raised that the most substantial issues for the Eastern Bay of Plenty were not wearing seatbelts and operating vehicles with excess breath alcohol.



2.26 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                                                                   Cr Lyall Thurston

Chairperson, Regional Transport Committee