What we do... with help from you
WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THIS OPPORTUNITY AS AN association – The Road Transport Association New Zealand (RTANZ) – to update you on a monthly basis and to tell the transport story from where we sit.
One of the v ery important starting points for me is why do we have an association and what does it do?
The Road Transport Association NZ has been ar ound since the late 1920s/early 1930s. We are the oldest and hav e been the longest-running of the curr ent three regional-based associations in NZ. The association is made up of four r egional bodies that are all incorporated societies, and is managed b y RTANZ Inc. to coordinate the yearly work plan and many of the admin - istration functions for the r egions.
This regional structure came about because those wor king in the transport industry felt they needed a v oice and an association that could pr ovide them with information and support so that they had a comparativ e advantage and the edge to be successful, both as a business and also within the transport sector.
Since that time nothing has changed in that r egard; however, the work has and today’s associations are very different from that of the 1920s and ‘30s.
What hasn’t changed is the need to continue to pr ovide this voice and support. Each year we ask our members what it is that they want from us. The three things they told us they wanted help with were, in this order: The driver shortage – getting more class five drivers into the industry; secondly, helping you deal with compliance – members noted that transport has one of the most demanding compliance regimes, not to mention all the other business compliance requirements.
Third was roading: Most members wanted us to seek mor e funding for rural r oads – the v ery place most of y ou work and make a living.
For the past y ear we have been working on these and I am pleased to say that in terms of the driv er shortage, which is a major challenge for the industry and for NZ I nc overall, we are leading progress in this ar ea.
With the support of the other associations w e have established a programme called The Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP) which aims to impr ove employers’ access to r eliable, appropriately-skilled staff, whilst giving priority to domestic job seekers, including beneficiaries. ( See SWEP column on Page 77).
The road freight industry (the associations) and G overnment formed a partnership in 2016 to addr ess this issue facing
NZ’s transport industry. The major objective was to incr ease the workforce across the sector to meet the challenges of a workforce shortage. To do this, the first part of this pr ogramme was to develop a workforce pipeline to meet the labour shortage.
Now this has been established, the next phase of this will be the rollout of an industry-based cadetship/appr entice scheme with industry.
To me, this is the most important part of what w e can do, but it will not happen if industry is not inv olved. Some very good work has started and this will be r edefined and grow, so watch this space – w e need this to wor k and we need your support. T&D
Road Transport Association NZ chief executive Dennis Robertson