Breakaway in road transport
There has been a major split in the road-transportation industry with two organisations exiting Transporting New Zealand, formerly known as the Road Transport Forum.
John Baillie and Rob Taylor, chairman and president of National Road Carriers and NZ Trucking Association respectively, have issued a joint statement on their decision.
They say their organisations have reached an impasse with Road Transport Association NZ (RTANZ) regarding “industry association structure”.
“Our nation and our industry face significant challenges that require us to be future-focused,” say Baillie and Taylor.
“The road-transport industry plays a significant role in the national economy, which has been highlighted by the pandemic and supply-chain crisis. This demands our associations and representation to government is best in class.
“An untenable proposal was put to our associations to merge and create one centralised industry body based in Wellington.
“Representative board members from both National Road Carriers and NZ Trucking believe such a structure would not be in the best interests of our members and would dilute grass-roots understanding of industry issues and the provision of services.”
The membership of National Road Carriers and NZ Trucking represented 64 per cent of the Transporting NZ membership.
The exit from Transporting NZ enables National Road Carriers and NZ Trucking to refocus their resources to support members’ needs locally, “in Wellington and across sectors”.
Baillie and Taylor’s statement continues: “Our teams and board members are looking forward to a more focused and productive output for our members.
“A memorandum of understanding has been reached that will ensure the common-ground goals and objectives between the associations on national road-transport issues, sector groups and projects continue.
“Our priority is to continue work at the grass-roots level with our members, listen and understand their real-life issues, concerns, and frustrations – then provide services and solutions that meet their needs.
“At the same time, we need to work with local and central government, along with their agencies, to effect positive change for our members and New Zealand.
“This agreement gives National Road Carriers and NZ Trucking the mandate to achieve this.
“Our members have told us they need us to have a single-minded focus on the issues that keep them up at night. These include roading and infrastructure failure, shortage of skilled workers, compliance, climate change, the pandemic and supply-chain crisis.
“We need to be nimble – deliver great stuff today, while at the same time make sure our businesses are sustainable and maintain our social licence to operate.”