Transporting New Zealand Chief Executive Nick Leggett is moving on after almost four and a half years in the role.

“I am grateful to have worked for an industry that literally moves New Zealand,” Leggett says. “Road transport is made up of some terrific people who will drop everything to move freight for their customers. Most people don’t know the trials and tribulations of the work, because the industry does such a great job.”

He says working in this job is the best way to learn how the economy works. “You see first-hand the kinds of initiatives that make sure the supply chains run.”

Leggett says that with COVID, economic pressures, and now extreme weather events, New Zealanders have seen how effective and necessary road transport is to keeping people alive and keeping our economy productive.

“Road transport keeps moving even when the rest of us stop.”

Asked what the key challenges for the industry are moving forward,  Leggett says: “The industry struggles every day to project a coherent case and advocate effectively to Government because it continues to have three industry organisations, instead of just one. This makes no sense. Everywhere I go, people who work with the industry tell me that there should be one organisation.

“If you strongly believe that, I challenge you to do something about it. Please put your money where your mouth is. I’ve been proud to work for Transporting New Zealand because it’s the only organisation that actively supports a merger into one organisation.”

Leggett says this is the only way the industry can be truly influential and see its scale and importance recognised. “If people around and in the industry want one organisation, they should choose to actively support the only organisation that has consistently promoted that same vision.”

Asked about his key achievements, Leggett says he is proud of getting the “Road to success” traineeship with qualifications off the ground. Seeing the businesses and the men and women who work in the trucking industry increase their profile has been hugely satisfying.

“The people who do the work day and night to keep the trucks moving deserve to have their stories told in the media and to government.”

But the industry must face reality.

“When it comes to training, the only people who are going to invest to train and qualify drivers is you. Road to success gives all businesses, whether they are large or small, a nationally recognised training pathway with real qualifications. The collective mindset of the industry often is that training is someone else’s job and that people will just leave after employers invest in them. I think it was Bill Richardson who said that he’d rather train someone and see them leave, than not train them and have them stay.”

The industry must grow its own future workforce from a range of ages, different backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations and beliefs. “It’s time the road transport industry fully embraced training and diversity. Those that do are the businesses that will have a future, and they will attract a workforce who expect nothing less.”

Transporting New Zealand Chair, Warwick Wilshier, says that Transporting New Zealand General Manager Dom Kalasih will become acting CEO until a new Chief Executive is chosen.

“We wish Nick all the very best in his future endeavours and thank him for his work. Nick has brought a whole new dynamic to an industry that needs to embrace change. We need to empower our young people to lead and he has certainly created the platform for that to happen. The relationships that Nick has built and the profile that has been created is now in every New Zealander’s mind when they realise that through Covid, earthquakes and cyclones, their everyday necessities are delivered.

“We set a challenge when Nick joined the organisation, raise our public profile and create industry unity. He can now leave with a great sense of achievement and we are fortunate to have someone of Dom’s experience and calibre to take over.”