Environment Southland councillors agreed to support the Southland Regional Land Transport Committee to work collaboratively with other south island transport committees to develop and implement a shared programme of work.
South Island committees share many of the same transport issues and opportunities and are largely dependent on each other. Strategy and Policy Committee chairman Nicol Horrell said he strongly supported the move for regional transport committees to work together in a more collaborative manner. “Roading networks don’t stop at provincial borders,” he said.
Transport planner Russell Hawkes said working together with Regional Transport Committees from around the South Island (Otago, Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough, West Coast and Canterbury) would mean that transport issues could be looked at from a bigger picture.
“Working together will help us all overcome some key issues. The potential for regions to influence central government policy and drive change across the network is diluted by generally operating independently. This dilution is a key reason why the Otago and Southland Regional Transport Committees have been collaborating since 2014 – and we’ve already seen efficiencies from that,” Russell said.
The group has already identified three top priorities.
- shared advocacy - in particular, the Government Policy Statement on Transport;
- freight - including critical journeys, and encompassing all modes including road, rail, sea and air; and
- tourism - in particular, the need for data about tourist flows around the South Island. The first action for the group will be to develop a 90 day action plan, which is already underway.