The announcement that Simeon Brown is to be the new Minister of Transport has been welcomed by road freight peak body Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

“The Incoming Minister has been a strong advocate for fixing roads and potholes, restarting the infrastructure pipeline, and getting more efficient trucks operating on our network,” says Transporting New Zealand Interim CEO, Dom Kalasih.

“He has a strong grasp of the transport sector and what is needed to get things back on track.”

Mr Brown met with Transporting New Zealand prior to the election campaign to discuss industry priorities. He also spoke at Transporting New Zealand’s conference earlier this year, pledging to fix the stalled random roadside drug testing regime and committing to substantial investment in the State Highway network and public transport improvements.

Kalasih says that while modernising New Zealand’s roading network will take years to achieve, the incoming government can immediately get some quick runs on the board.

“This includes repealing the land transport rule that has seen inefficient and unpopular speed limit reductions. It also includes amending weight and dimension rules to get more electric and lower emission trucks on the road, and updating immigration settings to address the acute national shortage of truck drivers.

“In the coming days we’ll be releasing a full briefing to the Incoming Minister that will set out the key issues and priorities for our members, as well as a suite of Land Transport Rules changes agreed by all three national road freight associations.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Incoming Minister and helping to make the road transport sector even better,” says Kalasih.

“With nearly 93 per cent of New Zealand’s freight task being transported by road, our sector is essential to the success of the entire economy, particularly our exporters and consumers. It’s essential the incoming government makes transport investment and regulatory reform a priority this term,” Kalasih says.