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New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Fleet Focus - By Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Den­nis Robert­son

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

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