A large part of our team has been focussed on the mammoth task of reaching out to check on every member we had in the areas affected by the floods and Cyclone Gabrielle. Whilst the impacts on some were clearly devastating, people we spoke to continue to demonstrate extraordinary levels of resilience and they never seem to lose the willingness to get stuff done. It’s great to be a part of a sector with that culture.

Last week, chief executive Nick Leggett and I spent four days on the road. As well as a very well-attended breakfast meeting in the deep south, we had some one-on-one meetings with several operators.

My takeouts from those meetings included: Without exception, every operator we spoke to saw the benefit to the sector of having an independent fit-for-purpose industry qualification. That is exactly what the Road to success tertiary qualifications pathway brings.

Another valuable outcome was that our discussions helped us refine the issues we will likely include in our election manifesto and the more tactical solutions we need to focus on with key stakeholders. Like a lot of our sector is currently doing, we also need to work smarter.

Another highlight was last week’s launch of the Green Compact. The event was attended by an excellent cross section of industry, including Transport Minister Michael Wood and the ministry, government agencies (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and EECA, the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority), transport operators, customers of transport services, transport media, and advocacy groups (FIRST Union and NZ Automobile Association). It was pleasing to hear Bridgestone’s head of sustainability and communications, who had come across from Australia, that our sector leadership in this space is further advanced than in Australia.

Finally, I can’t reiterate strongly enough the importance of the boost we’re giving to Road to success. The details are referred to elsewhere in this week’s Dispatch but I firmly believe that the sooner this tertiary qualification pathway becomes the norm for truck drivers the more our sector will benefit in the long run. Achieving the target of 1000 enrolments will go a long way to getting the qualification firmly ensconced in our industry and I am very grateful for the leadership, investment and commitment by all those companies that have been supporting it so far.

-Dom Kalasih is general manager of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

Call 027 441 4309 or email dom@transporting.nz.

Photo 3277601 / Road Cones © Kileman | Dreamstime.com

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