Welcome to the final newsletter for 2018. In this issue I provide an update on the Code of Practice for Utilities’ Access to Transport Corridors (the Code) review, including information on the final opportunity to have a say on the proposed new Code. I also cover our recent AGM, provide an update on the Code performance work and look at the year ahead.
On behalf of the Board I would like to wish you and your families a happy Christmas and a safe New Year, and we look forward to working with you on behalf of industry in 2019.
Regards, Paul Swain Chairman, NZUAG
Final chance to have your say on proposed Code: December 3-21, 2018
Through the review of the second round of submissions that closed in August the Board realised that many of the submission points were on fresh topics and were suggesting changes that industry would not have had opportunity to respond to. The Board has therefore decided to conduct a third round of consultation, but to only seek feedback on the changes proposed.
This third submission round of submissions commenced on 3rd December and will run for 3 weeks through to 21st December. The draft marked up version of the Code reflecting the submission process can also be found on the Code Review page of the NZUAG website.
The spreadsheet containing the submission points made during the second round of consultation, and the Boards response to those points, is also on this page.
Any submissions received will be reviewed in late January with the legal review being undertaken in early February. The plan is to seek NZUAG approval at the February Board Meeting, and then seek Ministerial approval for the revised Code subsequent to that.
I’ll report progress in the February newsletter.
As I have reported previously, NZUAG is required to collect data annually from industry sectors and report aggregated results on a national basis to NZUAG Members, industry and the Government. The purpose of the report is to identify any issues with Code implementation and to focus on areas that need attention in the best interests of the industry and the community.
Currently the Code compliance committee is assessing the information that has been collected, but is reporting once again only a 50% return rate. While this may be an acceptable response rate for other surveys, it is frustrating that returns were not 100%, given reporting on Code issues is a statutory requirement. If you haven’t sent your data back please contact our administrator Colin Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org. This would be greatly appreciated.
I will report progress on this issue in February.
The NZUAG AGM was held in Auckland on 28 November. The papers, including my annual report and the audited accounts for 2017/18, can be found here on the NZUAG website.
I reported on the key issues for the year including Code education and Code compliance. We farewelled some long standing Board members, and welcomed new ones. We maintained regular contact with the sector through our quarterly newsletter, and once again our finances were well managed. I noted that the Code review was well underway, and that we would be working hard to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part in the process to improve the Code that is so vital for our economic development.
Changes at the Board table
NZUAG is governed by a 10 member board, made up of equal numbers of Transport Corridor Managers and Utility Sector Operators.
The rotation policy is outlined in section 9.5.1 of our constitution available on our website. At the AGM we farewelled Ross Malcolm (electricity sector) and Scott Andrews (Kiwirail), who were awarded the NZUAG appreciation certificates. We thank them for their dedication and commitment to NZUAG and industry.
Our particular thanks go to Ross, who has been the long-term Chair of the Auckland Utility Operators Group (AUOG), which was a forerunner of NZUAG and produced the first widely-accepted
Code document in NZ. Ross has always been prepared to do the heavy lifting at the Board level, and has served as Chair of the Code Review and the Education and Awareness Committees. Ross has presented at many forums over the years and has been acknowledged as one of the resident experts on Code matters.
On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Ross for his years of dedicated service to NZUAG and the Code, and wish him well for the future. He is leaving very big shoes to fill.
At the same time we welcome our two new Board members Ria Apiata (Kiwi Rail) and Brendan Drysdale (Electricity Sector) and we look forward to working with them over the coming years.
A full list of Board members and their sector representation is on the Board Member page of the NZUAG website.
NZUAG Rule Change
A rule change to our Constitution was approved at the AGM. The purpose of the change was to clarify the nominating process for the NZUAG Board by ensuring it is explicit that only a full member of our society may nominate a sector representative to the NZUAG Board.
The full paper, and approved wording, can be found in the report from the Constitution review committee to the AGM, on p17 of the AGM papers.
RIMS Conference 2019
The 2019 Road Infrastructure Management (RIMS) Conference will be held in Dunedin on March 20 and 21, 2019. NZUAG is a sponsor of the Conference, given it highlights issues in the road corridor. NZUAG is responsible for a conference stream on day 2, which focuses on issues related to the Code, and we encourage both Corridor Managers and Utility Operators to attend. NZUAG will outline progress of the Code review and the 2019/20 work programme, and there will be thought-provoking presentations form guest presenters on topical issues.
If you need more information, then please visit the conference website at https://rims2019.co.nz/
We look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you for your support
NZUAG is an industry-based organisation which relies on funding from its members. We don’t receive any Government funding for the work associated with the Code. This decision was taken by industry to ensure independence from Government as well as ensuring that the issues related to the Code are resolved by industry itself.
I want to thank those members who continue to support NZUAG and its work. I would also like to thank the new members who have joined recently as a result of a recent membership drive. The ongoing support from members is greatly appreciated.
Given the benefits to both Corridor Managers and Utility Operators of a nationally recognised Code of Practice, we urge all industry groups who are not current members of NZUAG to consider joining to contribute to the work that is vital to our sector and to New Zealand.
The membership application form is located on the ‘About Us’ page on the NZUAG website.
The Year Ahead
At the recent Board meeting we discussed the work programme for the next financial year.
We concluded that it was a good opportunity to review the purpose of NZUAG, the role of the Board, our promotional activities and communications plans, as well as analysing the submissions that provided constructive suggestions but which were outside the scope of the Code review.
We will also be surveying members to ensure that we are meeting the needs of those who support us financially.
A draft work programme will be presented to the Board meeting in February, and we will report on the outcome in the February newsletter.