Nick Leggett, who signed off as chief executive this month, is a hard act to follow and he leaves big shoes to fill. To continue the metaphor, he has made big strides in achieving real progress for the road transport industry.

Nick joined what was then the Road Transport Forum in December 2019 and he leaves behind a very different organisation from when he joined. I truly believe this is a massive legacy that he should be extremely proud of. Granted, the Board has played a significant role in leading the change but managing that change where the rubber hits the road was largely left to Nick’s leadership.

I first met Nick at Christchurch airport just before Christmas 2020 and it was only because he was with Warwick Wilshier [now Board Chairman], whom I’ve known for a long time, that we ended up being introduced. It has been a privilege to work alongside him as General Manager Industry and I have admired his determination, energy and professionalism.

I’ve been around longer than most and I’ve worked in a variety of places, big and small, local and multinational. Regardless of industry and sector type, I think the vast majority of people have the absolute best intent to do good stuff. However, in my experience there are relatively few people that are successful at demonstrating the behaviours and taking the actions that lead to large impact change.

I don’t think we should overlook the fact that, while many people are happy to talk about change, and becoming one voice, the reality is that many of those same people haven’t walked the talk.

As with any significant organisational change, the rebranding of RTF and integration of RTANZ as Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand at the start of 2022 has been challenging. Given that context, I think it makes the changes that have been achieved all the more significant.

As well as negotiating organisational change, there’s no question that Nick, who is a consummate media professional, has raised our public profile. That was underscored for me during a recent road trip where members of other organisations were very familiar with what we did, who Nick was and the value that Transporting New Zealand brought to the table. It’s a shame those organisations clearly benefit from our work, but they’re not supporting us financially!

Nick’s achievements include Road to success, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Green Compact resulting from our strategic pillar on environment. These three flagship activity areas are key to improving our sector’s long-term future. I strongly believe these are vital to managing some of the structural challenges our industry faces and we will continue to progress these areas.

We’ll also continue to focus on our purpose of creating an environment where trucking operators can drive successful, safe sustainable businesses. Doing that in ways that improve value for money for our members does mean doing things differently and I’m particularly keen that we focus even more on building sector capability and leadership.       Improving financial literacy and providing tools so operators can own and make the decisions they need to is one example of how we can improve capability. There is also a tremendous amount of good practice already happening in a variety of sectors and I don’t believe that is well appreciated so we will be looking to recognise that leadership, and better leverage off it.

Of course, many big challenges remain for the industry, including the economy, the future workforce and the environment. We shall be discussing all of these and more at our annual conference, A Changing World, being held in Lower Hutt from June 28 to 29. Make sure you register and we look forward to seeing you there.

You can find details, on our website,

Please feel free to contact me any time, email or call 027 441 4309.

-Dom Kalasih is acting chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

Please note: The content of this Advisory has been issued to inform members of Transporting New Zealand. It is for road freight transport industry circulation, not for media publication. It can be forwarded in its entirety to members of Transporting New Zealand. It cannot be reproduced, or printed in parts, under any logo other than Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s logo, without written permission from Transporting New Zealand.