Comment

Committed to working with contractors

BRETT GLIDDON, GENERAL MANAGER, SYSTEM DESIGN AND DELIVERY, NZTA

THIS IS MY FIRST COLUMN as the NZ Transport Agency’s new general manager, System Design and Delivery, and my appointment comes at a time of significant change for land transport; it is both challenging and exciting.

The NZ Transport Agency is committed to working with contractors and consultants to further develop the strong relationships we already have with the industry, and to work together to make the most of the new opportunities we have to develop a better land transport system for New Zealand.

I joined the Transport Agency several years ago. My work has covered many different aspects of the transport industry: Infrastructure delivery, maintenance and operations, the introduction of new technology, developing public transport, providing walking and cycling amenities, and working with communities.

One of the first projects I worked on was considered a multi-modal public transport landmark for the time – the delivery of Auckland’s Northern Busway beside the Northern Motorway (State Highway 1). I then moved further north along SH1 to work on the Northern Gateway Toll Road, and later to lead the investigation to extend the SH1 motorway from Warkworth to Wellsford.

After the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, I represented the Transport Agency during the establishment phase of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT).

In the same year, I was also appointed Highways Manager for Bay of Plenty and oversaw the delivery of the Tauranga Eastern Link and the transfer of Route K to the Transport Agency and the later electronic tolling of the road.

On my return to Auckland as Highways Manager, I was heavily involved in the successful Waterview Connection project, serving on the Well-Connected Alliance board and overseeing the extension of Auckland’s cycling/walking network including the distinctive magenta-coloured light path.

Before my new appointment, I was senior manager for the System Design and Delivery team.

In my new role there are a number of goals that I want to help the NZ Transport Agency achieve:

• Health and safety – We will continue to be an advocate and leader for reducing harm. I want the Transport Agency and our suppliers to continue to lift the bar and set the highest standards for health and safety so that all people working on our sites return home safely every day.

• Collaboration – working together with contractors and consultants, and also with the group important to us all – local government – to deliver a safer and more accessible land transport system for New Zealand.

• Being ready for the future – the Transport Agency recently celebrated the first anniversary of its transformation, designed to ensure we’re better placed to anticipate the needs of the future. It is important for the industry to move with us, and we will work hard to ensure that together we are in a strong position to take advantage of the opportunities with the new land transport priorities and embrace the challenges of new technology.

• Focusing on customers – one of the key challenges we have is keeping up with customers’ expectations for transport in a changing world. The focus on customers and how they will use the transport system, both easily and safely, is reflected across the Transport Agency’s entire business. We’ll encourage the industry to ensure that when they work for us they focus not only on infrastructure and technology outcomes, but also the social outcomes that impact positively on people and their communities and deliver innovation and value for money.

The Transport Agency is finalising the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) for 2018-21, which will be adopted by the end of this month.

The NLTP will set out the Transport Agency’s investment programme, with its co-investment partners, for the next three years, but just as importantly it will reflect the Government’s new vision and priorities for the land transport system.

This new programme of work will still be big and complicated, with around $4 billion being invested in the land transport system annually, although there will be a different mix of outcomes.

The change is away from a separate focus on road building, to one that considers the development of a complete transport system, embracing and better connecting all transport options – walking, cycling, public transport, rail and roads – to make it easier for people to choose how they get around.

There are challenges ahead, but they are incredibly exciting.

Your industry has been successful at dealing with change in the past. My role, and the role of my team, will be to ensure that you continue to do so. There are great opportunities and rewards for us all.

The NZ Transport Agency is committed to working with contractors and consultants to further develop the strong relationships we already have with the industry, and to work together to make the most of the new opportunities we have to develop a better land transport system for New Zealand.

Related posts

Parting words from Jeremy Sole- a final column

Charles Fairbairn

Smoko antics

Charles Fairbairn

John Deere K-Series wheel loaders

Charles Fairbairn