Nom­i­na­tions open for 2017 NZ Road Trans­port In­dus­try Awards

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Big Test -

WHEN IT COMES TO CEL­E­BRAT­ING OUR suc­cesses and the peo­ple who go the ex­tra mile in our in­dus­try “we’re of­ten a lit­tle shy in com­ing for­ward,” says Road Trans­port Fo­rum Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ken Shirley. “It’s as though the very Kiwi trait of self-dep­re­ca­tion and mod­esty, of never wish­ing to blow one’s own trum­pet or stand out from the pack, is an un­writ­ten rule in our in­dus­try,” Shirley says.

This year the road trans­port in­dus­try has faced par­tic­u­larly tough chal­lenges and has once again proved its re­silience and adapt­abil­ity to meet those chal­lenges. Not least of all has been the clo­sure of State High­way 1 through Kaik­oura and the much more gru­elling task of get­ting freight be­tween Pic­ton and Christchurch.

“Those out­side our in­dus­try just do not re­alise how much ef­fort and hard work has gone into main­tain­ing the freight links through the top of the South Is­land,” Shirley says.

“In many re­spects, we are a vic­tim of our own suc­cess. Within hours of the earthquake and the news that the road and rail link through Kaik­oura would be out of ac­tion, road trans­port op­er­a­tors had plans in place to get the job done.

“Ini­tial news cov­er­age sug­gested that Christchurch and lo­ca­tions fur­ther south should ex­pect sig­nif­i­cant de­lays to freight and there were many wild and woolly the­o­ries as to what should be done to al­le­vi­ate that.

“The re­al­ity was that the road trans­port sec­tor put its head down, re­worked its timeta­bles and just got on with sat­is­fy­ing the new freight task. This was all done with very lit­tle fuss and in such a seam­less fash­ion that the cus­tomer hasn’t re­ally been af­fected at all.”

Says Shirley: “The main­te­nance of the freight link be­tween Pic­ton and Christchurch is an ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ment – yet there’s very lit­tle recog­ni­tion of it.”

The earthquake is only one ex­am­ple of how the re­silience and adapt­abil­ity of the road trans­port in­dus­try has over­come enor­mous chal­lenges to carry out the freight task over the last year or so, he points out: “Floods, cy­clones, slips and the in­creas­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion of our main cen­tres have thrown up ma­jor prob­lems that our in­dus­try, one way or another, has been able to sur­mount.”

He sug­gests that “per­haps this year’s New Zealand Road Trans­port In­dus­try Awards are an ap­pro­pri­ate op­por­tu­nity to ac­knowl­edge the mem­bers of our in­dus­try who have shown re­source­ful­ness and in­ge­nu­ity in deal­ing with th­ese chal­lenges.”

There are five awards – four of which seek to hon­our ac­tiv­i­ties and achieve­ments that ul­ti­mately im­prove the daily lives of peo­ple in the in­dus­try – mak­ing it a re­ward­ing and safe en­vi­ron­ment to work in.

They are: The In­dus­try In­no­va­tion Award, the Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to Train­ing Award, the Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to Health and Safety and the over­all Supreme Con­tri­bu­tion to NZ Road Trans­port Award.

Fi­nally, there’s the NZ Road Trans­port Hero Award – a pres­ti­gious award, given only in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances. The award recog­nises the ac­tions of a full­time mem­ber of the road freight in­dus­try who, in the course of their nor­mal work­day, res­cues or at­tempts to res­cue a fel­low trav­eller from a life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion – avert­ing death or more se­ri­ous in­jury through their ac­tions.

Says Shirley: “We know there are plenty of peo­ple out there do­ing great things on the road and in their busi­nesses. So, if you have an out­stand­ing achiever in your com­pany – or even a re­spected com­peti­tor – then get that nom­i­na­tion in.

“Let’s put aside our mod­esty and cel­e­brate the hard work, re­silience and per­se­ver­ance that is a hall­mark of the road trans­port in­dus­try.”

The awards will be pre­sented at the gala In­dus­try Awards Din­ner on Satur­day Novem­ber 11, at the con­clu­sion of the RTF Con­fer­ence in Hamil­ton.

“Ev­ery year this event gets big­ger and bet­ter and is a fan­tas­tic way to ac­knowl­edge our award win­ners,” says Shirley: “The din­ner has be­come a real high­light on the in­dus­try cal­en­dar.”

Cri­te­ria and nom­i­na­tion forms for each of the awards can be found in the events sec­tion of the RTF web­site, – where reg­is­tra­tion for the con­fer­ence and awards din­ner are also avail­able.


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