Welcome to 2023. There are a number of challenges – and opportunities – awaiting our industry this year. The focus of Transporting New Zealand is to continue to create the environment where road transport operators can drive successful, safe, and sustainable businesses.

To deliver on our purpose above – and to effectively live the values the board has set around focusing on one voice and collaboration, I am letting you know about the board’s proposal to change the structure of our organisation. The proposal would unify the four regions into one national structure.

It’s important to say upfront, that this a consultation draft and that nothing is cast in stone. However, if we want to achieve “one voice” and be ready for a future collaboration with National Road Carriers and New Zealand Trucking, it’s really important we get our own house in order first.

The world is changing and membership associations need to move with the times in order to stay relevant and keep growing. That’s why the board has put together the proposal. We can’t organise ourselves in the same way we did decades ago, back when each region could employ their own staff, ran their own conferences and fundraisers, and had sufficient volunteer capacity to run autonomously.

The key things to note about the details of the change proposal are these:

  • We are making our organisation more democratic. Every member will get to vote for representation to a new Road Transport Industry Council. The organisation’s rules will ensure the Council has representatives from each area of the country.
  • The proposal will reduce the administrative costs and duplication associated with managing our five existing incorporated societies. Our current regional structure focuses us on administration and issues, rather than looking outward and how we solve the problems confronting our members. We want to bring local operator issues and priorities to the national level so solutions can be found through a new Council and the successful work of our Sector Groups.
  • Our unified structure will bring us into line with the more complex and rigorous requirements of the new Incorporated Societies Act 2022, which requires all societies to re-register and update their rules.
  • The assets of each region will be ringfenced and controlled by the directly member-elected Road Transport Industry Council. We will be able to focus our expenditure on providing better services to our members, rather than duplicating work in every region.
  • As Transporting New Zealand increasingly commercializes its operations to better support its work for the industry, the board, in addition to having three member representatives, will also have two independent directors to bring fresh thinking and new skill sets to grow the organisation.
  • The core features of Transporting New Zealand will be maintained: a strong team of regional advisors, fuel and service discounts, national and sector advocacy, social and networking events, and our commitment to supporting successful, safe, and sustainable transport businesses.

It’s important to note that any changes would require the approval of all regional associations. There won’t be any forcing of this, but I can say that as chair of Transporting New Zealand and a longtime member of Region 2, I believe it’s the best way for our organisation to grow and sustain itself.

We aren’t alone in this. Other leading national associations have already completed similar unifying reforms: Civil Contractors New Zealand, Hospitality New Zealand, Automobile Association and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers have all moved away from having separately incorporated regions or branches, while still remaining member-driven and focused on the grass-roots.

It was disappointing for our board not to be able to merge ourselves with National Road Carriers and New Zealand Trucking when we tried in 2021. This is still our long-term aim, but we want to improve what we do for our members and the wider industry now. We hope that by making these changes, Transporting New Zealand will be streamlined and ready when the chance comes around again.

You can read a copy of the proposal here.

You are also welcome to join myself and board members at a lunchtime Zoom question and answer session on Friday, February 17. Please email info@transporting.nz to let us know you are coming and we will email you a link.

You are also welcome to contact me directly to discuss.

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.