NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Fergus Gammie says 63 of the 152 high priority compliance files being closely investigated for any safety issues have now been assessed.
The files were identified by law firm Meredith Connell, who were engaged by the NZTA Board in September to review and strengthen the agency’s regulatory capabilities.
“This is strong progress, but it’s just a start. Much more work is required,” Mr Gammie says.
Mr Gammie says the assessment of these 63 high priority files has so far resulted in two further suspensions to heavy vehicle certifiers.
This means four heavy vehicle certifiers have now been suspended. Timaru-based certifier Adam McFarlane was suspended yesterday, while Auckland-based Patrick Chu was suspended earlier this month. This follows the suspensions of Wellington-based certifier Dick Joyce in June this year and Nelson-based certifier Peter Wastney in 2017.
Today the agency also revoked the certification of 34 heavy vehicle towing connections certified by Mr Joyce, leading to four vehicles being taken off the road.
“It’s vitally important we progress this work quickly and comprehensively. We are working hard to give New Zealanders assurances that the vehicles they share the road with are certified to a high standard and are safe,” Mr Gammie says.
“While our focus is on the high priority cases identified by Meredith Connell, we have also been able to progress work on lower priority issues. That means a quarter of the 850 total files have now been assessed.”
“The recruitment of commercial transport officers and certification officers to significantly strengthen our enforcement capability long-term is now underway.”
The NZ Transport Agency will provide further updates as the review continues.