From the Chair
We are now gearing up for the next Code review that will be kicked off in March next year. The Board is now working on the detailed planning, including a launch at the 2018 RIMS Conference and a series of information seminars. We will be calling for suggested changes to the Code early next year so please start thinking about any areas that may need to be amended.
The Board is also required under the Code to collect information such as the number of CARs requested and the number of 3rd party strikes on utility assets over the last year. Collated results will be reported to industry and the Government, so that everyone is aware of areas that are working well and where improvement is needed. This should help industry as a whole. A survey will be coming out shortly to all corridor managers and utility operators, so please keep a lookout for it and plan for its completion as soon as possible.
Details of both these issues are outlined below.
2018 Code Review
The 2018 Code Review will be officially launched at the RIMS conference in March 2018.
The 2018 review process will follow a similar approach to that used in the last review. An initial submission round will focus on identifying areas where amendments to the Code may be required. Following analysis and consideration of these by the Review Committee, an initial revised draft of the Code will be produced. This will then become the base document for the second consultation round, which will be undertaken in conjunction with a national seminar series based around proposed Code changes and significant issues raised. Following Review Team analysis of second round submissions, a final revised draft will be prepared for consideration by the full NZUAG Board. Once signed off by the Board the new draft Code will go through a process of legal review, before eventually being submitted to the Minister of Infrastructure for final approval and sign-off.
A five member Code Review Committee, consisting of two Corridor Manager and two Utility Operator representatives, along with the Independent Board Chair is in the process of being set up to carry out the review. If you are interested in being a part of such a committee, please contact our administrator Colin Lewis on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Working Groups
The Code Compliance and Enforcement Working Group is close to finalising a new Survey Monkey-based reporting tool which will be used to collect KPI data for the 2016-17 year, see article below. This information is required to be reported to the industry and the government (sections 8.2 and 8.3 of the Code).
The Working Group is also looking at ways to heighten awareness of the Code responsibilities for reporting conflicts of interest. Such conflicts are deemed to exist where an organisation operates as both a Corridor Manager and a Utility Operator, e.g. Councils that have road controlling responsibilities and operate water/waste water distribution assets, or where a Utility Operator provides more than one type of utility service, e.g. provision of both gas and electricity services. Signalling of such conflicts is designed to promote transparency, ensure even-handedness during the CAR application process and ensure correct statutory processes are being met. The reporting process is required to meet the statutory requirements in the Utilities Access Act 2010.
The Code Education Working Group has begun planning for a 2018 Code education seminar series, which as noted above, will be closely related to the Code Review consultation process. Consideration is being given to ways in which technology can be used to minimise excess travel requirements by seminar participants, while at the same time providing valuable opportunities for networking. Further details will be provided as the planning for these is firmed up.
The Website Review Working Group is currently working on a major rebuild of the existing website, which will see it move to a new platform designed to provide greater opportunity for interaction with industry members. This will hopefully make it a more useful tool in helping promote the Code and the wider activities which NZUAG is engaged in on industry’s behalf.
2017 KPI’s Data Collection
As already noted, a new KPI reporting tool has been developed and signed off by the Board. Corridor Managers and Utility Operators will be advised shortly on how the 2016-17 data collection exercise will work. It is hoped the new data collection tool will make reporting easier reporting, along with providing more consistent data. The results will help identify where things are working well, as well as showing where future improvements may be possible. Survey findings will be reported to the November AGM, and then to the wider industry along with a formal report to the Minister for Infrastructure. Keep an eye out for the letter outlining the survey process, which will cover the period 1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017.
RIMS Forum 2018
Planning is now underway for the 2018 RIMS Forum. The Board has agreed to become a Silver sponsor of this event, which is recognition of its importance as an avenue for engagement with industry members on the Code and its implementation. The 2018 Forum will be held at the Palmerston North Convention Centre from 21-22 March 2018. The RIMS website www.rims2018.co.nz will include updates as the year progresses. Offers of participation can be directed to Brett North (email@example.com), the NZUAG rep on the Forum planning committee.
Civil Contractors NZ Presentation
Civil Contractors NZ CEO Peter Silcock and Technical Manager Alan Stevens gave the Board an update on their activities and history at its meeting on August 23rd. Of particular interest was their involvement in ConstuctSafe, a worker competency certification system developed by the Construction Safety Council, which was launched in April 2016. Over 30,000 workers have sat the on-line test to-date, with around 22,000 having passed and gained their Tier 1 certificate. A further 3 tiers are planned for future development of the programme. Feedback from workers and employers suggests many are finding it more meaningful than the existing SiteSafe Passport system.
There was also discussion on training for Asset Locators, which is an issue the Board has been thinking about, and which CCNZ also has an interest in. Peter noted that a review is currently underway of the Australian Standard, which some have suggested should be developed as a joint NZ/AS Standard, although it is noted that this is not a current priority with Standards NZ. There was a feeling within the NZUAG Board that anything that has the potential to improve asset location data, and so potentially reduce the incidence of 3rd Party Strikes is worth investigating, and so the Board should consider supporting any moves to introduce a training regime for the asset locators working within a NZ jurisdiction.
2018 Membership Drive The Code is an important document that has been developed by the industry to ensure a nationally consistent approach to utility operators’ access to transport corridors. It is important that the Code continues to be owned and administered by the whole industry. This requires industry participation and buy-in. While a number of Utility Operators, Corridor Managers and industry associations are contributing to the administration of the Code through membership of NZUAG, the Board is keen see to this support broadened. To this end, we will be conducting a membership drive in the New Year. If you are in contact with any organisations who are not currently NZUAG members, we would appreciate you raising with them the possibility of them joining. Further information on membership is available from our administrator.
2018 AGM planning
Planning is now underway for the 2018 AGM, which will be held on November 22nd in Auckland. This year’s AGM will be hosted by Vector, at their Newmarket Offices. The AGM will commence at 9:30am and be followed by the November Board meeting. Formal notification of the AGM, including calls for remits will be sent out shortly. In the mean-time, for those able to make it to Auckland, now would be a good time to place this date in your diary.
NZUAG News is published regularly to assist in keeping Industry members and stakeholders informed of NZUAG activities relating to improving knowledge and application of the National Code of Practice for Utilities Access to Transport Corridors.
Your feedback and comment on any of the matters raised in the Newsletter are welcomed, as part of a process of ongoing industry dialogue.