In National Code


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Code?
  2. Why has the Code been developed?
  3. What process was used to develop the Code and who was involved?
  4. Parties involved include?
  5. What principles is the Code based on?
  6. Who is the Code for?
  7. What is the current status of the Code and what is the proposed timeline for implementation?
  8. What about our local circumstances....does it provide for these?
  9. What are the key differences between this Code and existing Codes?
  10. Will it cost more?
  11. What operational changes will our organisation need to make as a result of the Code?
  12. Is there help available?
  1. What is the Code?
    The Code has been developed by stakeholders to provide a framework for managing utility access in the transportation corridor. It covers motorways, state highways, local roads and the rail corridor and it applies to all corridor managers and network utility operators. It will be referenced in legislation (proposed 2009) and become mandatory (proposed 2010) and that it will replace existing codes of practice.
  2. Why has the Code been developed?
    Each of the stakeholders had slightly different reasons for wanting change but it is fair to say that all parties were looking for better planning and coordination of works, more consistency across existing utility legislation and a more constructive working relationship between the parties. The Ministry of Economic Development fully supported the development of this stakeholder-developed industry code.

    Government: The Government recognises that ‘world class infrastructure' is key to the economic transformation of New Zealand and it is committed to the overhaul of current policy and regulatory arrangements around management of the transportation corridor. Initially it was proposed by MED that RCA's might have an increased governance role in the road corridor, but this was rejected by stakeholders. Another option was for the Government to develop a national code of practice regulating the relationship between transport corridor managers and utilities and it was this suggestion that motivated stakeholders to develop the present draft Code. As a matter of interest, the Government's public policy objectives relating to this matter are:
    1. To reduce the costs and inefficiencies arising from the current statutory framework, including avoidable damage to roads and utility networks, delays and disputes, inconsistencies between statutes, and poor coordination;
    2. To provide for better management of the multi-use of road corridors in the public interest, including road safety, and balancing the provision of utility services with efficient transport and universal access to roads; and
    3. To provide the potential for increased utility access to rail and motorway corridors while recognising the transport and safety responsibilities of Transit , and the transport, safety and business interests of ONTRACK.

    Utilities: Utilities were looking for greater consistency of approach by corridor managers across the country, equitable treatment of local authority owned/managed utilities (mainly waters), faster process and more certainty/equity as to the nature of reasonable conditions.

    Road Corridor Managers: Road corridor managers were particularly looking to achieve better planning and coordination of works in the road corridor and improved protection of the road asset.

    ONTRACK: ONTRACK was included in the development of the Code because of the Government's desire to see utility access to the rail corridor clarified and (to the extent possible) greater consistency in terms of process and procedure with the road corridor access.

  3. What process was used to develop the Code and who was involved?
    The NZUAG appointed a ‘Directors Group' to manage development of the Code. The Directors Group had six members, two representing the utility sector, two representing local government and one representative each from ONTRACK and Transit New Zealand. This group appointed a project manager and a series of working parties were established to focus on specific parts of the Code. The working parties were made up of representatives from all four stakeholder groups - local government, utilities, ONTRACK and Transit. As the Code was developed there was a series of ‘limited sector' consultations to ensure that the Code was robust.
    The Code has received a legal audit and a technical audit.
  4. Parties involved include:
    • various industry organisations - RCA Forum, LGNZ, GANZ, EEA, ENA, Water NZ, Ingenium.
    • representatives from a wide range of organisations including Orion, Powerco, Telecom, Vector, the former Land Transport NZ and Transit NZ, ONTRACK, many city and district councils.
  5. What principles is the Code based on?
    The Code is based firmly on the principle of collaboration between the parties. Whilst the parties clearly have different interests, they agree that New Zealand is best served by utilities and transport corridor managers taking a collaborative approach and long-term view.
  6. Who is the Code for?
    The Code is relevant to all those who have an interest in the transport corridor - motorways, state highways, local roads and rail. It has relevance to managers, planners and to those who work in the corridor.
  7. What is the current status of the Code and what is the proposed timeline for implementation?
    The Code is currently in its implementation version and will be introduced by many councils during 2009. Whilst adoption of the Code is currently voluntary but the legislation is expected to pass in 2009 that will make compliance with the Code mandatory - most likely from early 2010.

    The Code (once finalised) will replace existing codes of practice such as "SNZ HB 2002:2003 Code of Practice for Working in the Road" and the various regional and local codes.
  8. What about our local circumstances....does it provide for these?
    Yes. The Code sets out standard policy and practice for the whole country but there is provision for corridor managers to develop conditions to reflect special and local circumstances. However, the development of special and local conditions must follow a process of engagement with utilities. This is set out in the Code.
  9. What are the key differences between this Code and existing Codes?
    The main change is the emphasis on a more collaborative working relationship between the parties but it incorporates significant development in some areas (eg forward planning of works and reasonable conditions) and it provides guidance in some new topic areas; for example, cost share, dispute resolution and information sharing. These were identified by the Government as key content for the Code.
  10. Will it cost more?
    There may be an initial adjustment cost for organisations in terms of training and gearing up to the new Code but this is not expected to be significant. Also, the intention is that the development of stronger relationships between the parties will result in lower costs for everyone over the medium to long term. The sooner the parties understand and implement the new Code the sooner efficiencies will be gained.
  11. What operational changes will our organisation need to make as a result of the Code?
    The implications of the Code will be different for every organisation - but there will be changes for all. For example, this will involve clearer separation of roles (between road corridor manager and utility asset manager such as water, or waste water) for local authorities. Utilities are expected to provide councils with more forward planning information, and a programme for coordination meetings will need to be established etc). Every stakeholder organisation needs to read the Code thoroughly to understand the changes they should make to their organisation.
  12. Is there help available?
    Yes. The NZUAG has launching the Code and is currently conducting meetings around the country to explain the draft Code, seek feedback on the Code and identify further needs of stakeholders. The NZUAG will consider whether further support is required after the workshops.

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