Northland leading the way with Transportation Alliance establishment
30 May 2016, 4:00 PM
Chair of the Northland Mayoral Forum and Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai today announced the establishment of a collaborative alliance for transportation and roading services to the communities of Northland.
The Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA), an initiative of the four Northland councils and the NZ Transport Agency, will be the first of its kind in New Zealand. The NTA will go ‘live’ from 1 July this year.
The development of the NTA is an idea that has developed over several years. All four councils and the NZ Transport Agency believe its establishment is the best way to make more headway with transportation and roading services.
Chairman of the Northland Regional Council Bill Shepherd says “this collaboration will benefit a wide range of Northland transportation outcomes and demonstrates the increased value that comes from working together – the NTA is expected to deliver financial benefits of at least $18m over 10 years.”
The collaboration enables the councils and the NZ Transport Agency to coordinate work programmes and align contracting investment to become more efficient. It’s also a pragmatic demonstration of councils finding new and better ways of working together.
This shared approach enables planning and resourcing to be maximised for the region while still retaining local democratic decision-making.
Mayor of the Far North District Council the Hon John Carter says, “local political collaboration, and having our organisations sharing resources and working more closely together, is exactly the kind of thing the Government’s Better Local Services provisions are encouraging councils to do.”
The Transportation Alliance is just a new and more efficient way of working together and local decisions will still be made locally. Kaipara District Council Chair of Commissioners John Robertson said, “road assets and budgets still remain under each council's ownership – this is not a CCO model – and although existing levels of service will be delivered from day one, it will take some time for the additional benefits to accrue.”
The staff of the Northland Transportation Alliance were today welcomed into the transition phase of its establishment by Mayor Sheryl Mai. She said, ‘the coordination of staff and resources in one entity is a superb way to share specialist skills and keep them in Northland instead of losing them to bigger centres.”
Over 50 staff of the councils (the Far North District Council, Kaipara District Council, Whangarei District Council and the Northland Regional Council) and the NZ Transport Agency’s regional personnel will be working together within the Transportation Alliance some of which will be co-located in Whangarei.
“The NZ Transport Agency is looking forward to the opportunities the new shared local authority business unit will provide in helping us continue to work successfully together for our Northland customers and communities” said Regional Director, Ernst Zollner.