The NZ Transport Agency has completed the first phase of its Regulatory Compliance Review, clearing the original backlog of 850 open compliance cases and significantly improving its internal processes.
New General Manager Kane Patena is now leading the regulatory function at the Agency, having taken over from law firm Meredith Connell (MC), who were appointed to help lead regulatory by Board Chair Michael Stiassny in October 2018.
NZ Transport Agency’s Acting CEO Brett Gliddon says Mr Patena is continuing the process of implementing a best practice regulatory model which prioritises safety.
“Our new firm, but fair approach to regulatory compliance ensures those who are responsible for certifying vehicles and running commercial transport services do the right thing and comply with the rules,” Mr Gliddon says.
“We know that the overwhelming majority do a great job, but where we find evidence of operators breaking the rules and compromising safety we hold will them to account.”
The review has seen more than 300 enforcement actions taken against service providers, drivers and transport service operators who have failed to reach the required standards. Actions taken have ranged from formal warnings to revoking the right to operate.
“300 actions may sound like a significant number, but context is key - it’s a very small percentage of a huge and critically important industry,” Mr Gliddon says.
The Transport Agency’s regulatory responsibilities include 390,000 Class 2-5 heavy vehicle licence holders, 45,000 Transport Service Licences, course providers, more than 8,300 inspectors working at over 3,500 inspecting organisations, and a fleet of more than 4.3 million licensed vehicles.
“We have achieved a lot in the last seven months and have momentum as we continue this important work,” Mr Gliddon says.
“I want to formally welcome Kane to the Agency and acknowledge the efforts of Meredith Connell and Managing Partner Steve Haszard. Mr Haszard and his team came in at a challenging time for the Agency, they identified and cleared the backlog of files and significantly improved internal regulatory compliance processes. I also want to thank Agency staff who have supported our efforts to be more active in enforcing compliance.”
Meredith Connell will be retained in a legal advisory role as and where needed.