Regional Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Wednesday 22 May 2024, 9.30 am

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:                    David Moore - Ōpōtiki District Council, Mayor James Denyer - Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC), Deputy Mayor John Scrimgeour – Alternate, WBOPDC (via Zoom), Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, Tauranga City Council, David Speirs – NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA), Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Alternate, BOPRC (via Zoom), Cr Conan O'Brien – Alternate, Rotorua Lakes Council (via Zoom), Angus Hodgson – KiwiRail (non-voting – via Zoom) 

In Attendance:            External: Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga Advisor, Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability Advisor, Greg Pert – Freight Advisor, Inspector Logan Marsh – NZ Police Road Safety Advisor, Stacey Spall - NZ Automobile Association Advisor, Presenters – as listed in the minutes

                                    BOPRC: Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Cr Jane Nees (via Zoom), Michael Seabourne – Public Transport Director, Andrew Williams – Acting Manager, Transport Planning, Niki Carling – Senior Transport Planner, Dale Clarke – Senior Transport Planner, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Please note: This meeting was livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Regional Transport Committee Meeting - 22 May 2024 - YouTubeApologies:                  Mayor Faylene Tunui - Kawerau District Council, Mayor Tania Tapsell - Rotorua Lakes Council, Cr Berice Julian – Alternate, Kawerau District Council, Deputy Mayor Lesley Immink – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council

1.     Apologies


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Mayor Tunui, Mayor Tapsell, Cr Julian and Deputy Mayor Immink tendered at the meeting.



2.     Order of Business

Item 6.1 – NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi update was considered following Item 3 - Public Forum, due to containing matters of relevance and high interest to the public gallery.

3.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

4.     Public Forum


Mike Williams – Work Road/ State Highway 2 Intersection

Tabled Document 1 - Correspondence with NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi: Objective ID A4671721

Presentation: Work Road/ State Highway 2 Intersection: Objective ID A4679331  


Presented By: Mike Williams, supported by Craig Fea and Kirsten Warbrooke

Key Points of Presentation:

·           ‘Barriers across intersections divide communities’

·           Proposed barriers would cause southbound traffic on State Highway (SH)2 being forced to travel an additional seven kilometres to access Work Road

·           Additional time required for emergency services to access Work Road and other roads off SH2 affected by this proposal could prove life-threatening

·           Additional danger posed by the proposed barriers was having gaps where people were likely to perform dangerous U-turns to avoid having to travel further

·           Overall, Western Bay of Plenty residents were complimentary of the SH2 upgrades and safety improvements over recent years, however barrier installation across intersections would negatively impact the majority of road users

·           Considered that data provided by NZTA may not have been updated to take into account recent safety improvements, and during public consultation the majority of submissions opposed the wire barriers

·           Requested a two year moratorium on the installation of barriers, pending the assessment of the effects from other recent upgrades, and updated data to include Te Puna, Esdaile Road and Apata Station Road roundabouts

·           Provided potential alternatives to the proposed barriers for the affected roads

·           The proposed barriers would significantly increase costs for the avocado pest monitoring programme in the area, potentially making the work unfeasible

·            Fire was a frequent risk in the area, and the additional time for fire services to gain access to any events created a higher risk of loss to property, life and industry

·            Clarified that the majority of people using these roads were local residents and businesses/services operating in the area.

Key Points - Members:

·           Katikati was historically the service centre for Work Road residents and their community connection to schools, shopping, churches and social events.  The wire barrier proposal would shift this to Ōmōkoroa and sever these connections

·           Concerned over the lack of information in the community surrounding these issues, including the research and rationale around reasons the barriers were proposed in favour of other options

·           Acknowledged the trade-off between safety and functionality, highlighting the access requirements of all industry in the area, not just avocado and kiwifruit

·           NZTA had briefed the Minister of Transport, Hon. Simeon Brown about the situation and would report back following the meeting.  Also suggested bringing NZTA transport engineers to meet with residents and bridge the communication gap by providing further information and addressing any questions.

In Response to Questions:

·           Noted a lack of fatalities or serious injury accidents recorded at these intersections, with none since the current safety improvements had been implemented

·           Work Road had a small packhouse and many avocado and kiwifruit orchards, all of which required heavy vehicle use on a day to day basis.

10.06 am – The meeting adjourned.

10.11 am – The meeting reconvened.

5.     Reports

Information Only


NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Quarterly Update

Presentation: NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Quarterly Update - May 2024: Objective ID A4675010  

Presented by: David Speirs – Director Regional Relationships

Key Points:

·         Provided an update on the progress of works relating to Takitimu North Link (TNL) Stage 1

·         An off-ramp completed at Minden Road Gully interchange provided contractors with the ability to move trucks and heavy vehicles within the project, rather than requiring the use of SH2 which expedited progress.  Internal connections were critical as the majority of fill required for the project was sourced from within the project area

·         The tolling feasibility assessment was underway as a requirement from central government for any new infrastructure roads.  This was expected to be completed within the next month or two – with approval from the Minister of Transport, community consultation for tolling options would follow

·            Once TNL Stage 1 was operational, Wairoa Bridge would no longer be a congestion area and the traffic flow would significantly improve with positive impacts on safety

·            SH2 Waihi to Ōmōkoroa safety improvements were currently on track for completion in 2026.

10.16 am – the meeting adjourned.

10.19 am - The meeting reconvened.

Key Points (Continued):

·           SH33 Te Ngae junction to Paengaroa safety improvements were in the final phase for completion by July 2024, road run-off being the most significant issue to address

·           Undertaking major disruption works using total road closures and night works had been trialled with a high degree of success and support from frequent road users

·           Outlined the new State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP), its relation to the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) and how this tied in with the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP)

·           Noted that for many councils, there was less funding than expected for required cyclone repair work.  NZTA were working with these councils to identify priorities for this and it was a significant issue for SH35 Ōpōtiki

·           Decisions were continuing to be made using the current National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), pending the release of the new NLTF

·           Outlined key aspects indicated from the Minister of Transport relating to the new Land Transport Rule for setting speed limits, which would be released for public consultation in coming months

·           Provided an update on SH2 Waioeka Gorge Corridor Business Case and potential learnings which could be applied to the Bay of Plenty region

·           Highlighted ongoing SH35 technical assessments and the areas identified across the region for resilience work consideration.

Key Points - Members:

·            Expressed concern over the transfer of speed cameras from NZ Police to NZTA regarding councils losing the ability to monitor the cameras, and the financial barriers created to replace this activity.  NZTA had met with Rotorua Lakes Council to discuss this and noted a signed agreement needed to be in place detailing how the data would be accessed to maintain the status quo

In Response to Questions:

·            The central government intention for Roads of National Significance (RoNS) and Roads of Regional Significance was to bring them together in the same package of consideration.  There were no new roads added, but there was a reconsideration of how they would be funded, governed and project managed

·            Part of the system design for new roads included considering options for rest areas and facilities, including logical places to exit

·            SH2 Katikati to Tauranga speed limit would likely be restored to 100 kilometres per hour once median barriers and other safety improvements were in place and the TNL was operational

·            Further work was being undertaken on the Connecting Mount Maunganui business case, including addressing questions around design elements along with affordability considerations.  An update would be provided to members via email prior to the next committee meeting. 



That the Regional Transport Committee:

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



10.57 am – The meeting adjourned.

11.16 am – The meeting reconvened.

6.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Regional Transport Committee Minutes – Regional Land Transport Plan Deliberations - 7 May 2024 (Distributed under separate cover)



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Confirms the Regional Transport Committee Minutes – Regional Land Transport Plan Deliberations - 7 May 2024 as a true and correct record.



7.     Reports (Continued)

Decisions Required


Changes to Regional Speed Management

Presented by: Dale Clarke – Senior Transport Planner and Andrew Williams – Acting Manager, Transport Planning

Key Points:

·           Amended legislation for setting speed limits meant that this was no longer a mandatory requirement, and noted the inconsistency with speed management plans across the region

·           Outlined reasons for ceasing progress on a regional speed management plan and the pending new Land Transport Rule for setting of speed limits.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Receives the report, Changes to Regional Speed Management;

2           Agrees to discontinue the development of a Regional Speed Management Plan;

3           Notes that the future of Regional Speed Management Plans are subject to direction from the Minister of Transport.





Endorsement of the 2024 - 2034 Regional Land Transport Plan

Presentation: Endorsement of the 2024-34 Regional Land Transport Plan: Objective ID A4683651  

Presented by: Niki Carling – Senior Transport Planner and Andrew Williams – Acting Manager, Transport Planning

Key Points:

·            Outlined changes to the draft RLTP as requested during deliberations, and how these had been incorporated

·            Noted an error in the tracked changes RLTP document in the table on Page 6 that Stage 4 of the SH29/29A project had been omitted, which was to be added back in with a footnote referencing the endorsement by SmartGrowth to bring Stage 4 forward

·            Some financial details would not be finalised until all relevant Long Term Plan (LTP) 2024-2034 processes were complete.

In Response to Questions:

·            The changes to Objective 6 and the associated target were made with the intent of making it measurable, and needed to be considered as being more of an enabler than a target. 

Further RLTP Amendments to be Actioned:

·            Remove text referencing Te Puke Community Connect from the new section on smaller urban settlements and the transport issues they faced

·            Amend Objective 6 Target to read ‘Increase the number of new dwellings enabled by each significant activity in the RLTP’.




That the Regional Transport Committee:

1      Receives the report, Endorsement of the Regional Land Transport Plan 2024 - 2034;

2      Endorses the changes to the Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 sent under separate cover (Attachment 1), and the additional changes as noted in the minutes;

3      Delegates to the Manager, Transport Planning the authority to make any numerical and minor editorial or presentational amendments to the Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 during finalisation of the document;

4      Recommends consideration of the draft final Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 document to Bay of Plenty Regional Council for adoption;

5      Commended staff for their work undertaken during the Regional Land Transport 2024-2034 process.



Information Only


Regional Land Transport Plan - Annual Monitoring

Presented by: Dale Clarke – Senior Transport Planner

Key Points:

·             There were a number of factors influencing results of the 27 KPI’s in the RLTP

·             Results showed that people were travelling more by cycling, walking and public transport, whilst travelling less in cars and single occupancy vehicles

·             The cost of living contributed to people’s travel behaviours.

Key Points - Members:

·             Noted that the Regional Public Transport Plan Hearings Subcommittee had set a strongly aspirational target for mode share.

In Response to Questions:

·             Mode share in the headline target KPI was in relation to the number of trips made and the data came from the household travel survey provided by the Ministry of Transport

·             The collection of data in order to test the performance of transport investment was complicated, and further time and funding would be required to explore options for improving this.



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Receives the report, Regional Land Transport Plan - Annual Monitoring.





Sub-Regional Road Safety Educational and Promotion Update



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1              Receives the report, Sub-Regional Road Safety Educational and Promotion Update.






Verbal Update Opportunity for Committee Members and Advisors


Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Tauranga City Council:

·            Acknowledged members and the work of the Committee, and noted the most significant challenge faced was identifying how to fund and finance transport investment into the future.

Mayor James Denyer – Western Bay of Plenty District Council:

·            Adopted the Section 17A review for transportation earlier in the month.

Angus Hodgson - KiwiRail:

·            Recognised the transport team for KiwiRail engagement during the RLTP process

·            The Rail Network Investment Programme was still being progressed in response to the GPS.

Inspector Logan Marsh – New Zealand Police:

·             There had been 13 fatalities in the year to date - the lowest in five years.  Three of the incidents were believed to have involved alcohol impairment, with seven having speed as a factor

·             Five were in the Taupō area, four in Rotorua, two in the Western Bay of Plenty and in one in the Eastern Bay of Plenty

·             Staff had met most enforcement targets in the fiscal year already, including undertaking over 260,000 breath tests

·             Noted the pilot of The Right Track programme in the region which targeted involving offenders’ families in positive change.

Dan Kneebone – Port of Tauranga:


·             Freight volumes continued to be challenging from a business perspective, particularly with kiwifruit and imports

·             Continued to progress work toward getting consent resolved for berth extensions

·             Appreciated the support and focus on progressing the Hewletts Road/ Totara Street sub-area.



10.   Acknowledgements

The Chair acknowledged Tauranga City Council Commissioner Selwood and Public Transport Director Michael Seabourne for their contributions to the Committee and the region, wishing them well for the future.


12.18 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                                                                   Cr Lyall Thurston

Chairperson, Regional Transport Committee