Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill

Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill

Government Bill

191—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

The Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill (the Bill) is an omnibus Bill introduced under Standing Order 263(a). That Standing Order provides that an omnibus Bill to amend more than 1 Act may be introduced if the amendments deal with an interrelated topic that can be regarded as implementing a single broad policy.

Objective

The objective of the Bill is to implement a new planning and funding framework for the heavy rail track network (the rail network) owned by KiwiRail. This new framework involves bringing planning and funding of the rail network under the land transport planning and funding regime set by the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (the LTMA).

Approach

The Bill contains 2 Parts. Part 1 amends the LTMA while Part 2 amends the Land Transport Act 1998 (and, consequentially, the Legislation Act 2012).

Part 1: new planning and funding framework for heavy rail under LTMA

Part 1 of the Bill will bring planning and funding of the rail network under the land transport planning and funding regime set up in the LTMA. The LTMA currently deals with the planning and funding of public transport, state highways, road policing, and local roads.

The existing planning and funding framework for the rail network creates uncertainty for the rail business as a result of annual budget processes, and separates road and rail network investment decisions. This has resulted in a short-term focus rather than a long-term strategic planning focus for the rail network, an inability to consider road and rail investment together, and the absence of an integrated and co-ordinated land transport investment programme.

Under the proposed rail planning and funding framework, funding for the rail network will be channelled through the national land transport fund. A statutory rail network investment programme (an RNIP) will be established, which the Minister of Transport will need to approve in consultation with KiwiRail’s shareholding Ministers. This will allow the rail network to be funded from the national land transport fund.

To promote integration of rail network investment and other land transport investment, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will advise the Minister of Transport on how the RNIP fits with the overall land transport investment programme under the LTMA. This advice will be given as part of the RNIP approval processes. KiwiRail will be responsible for providing rail activities funded from the national land transport fund.

Part 2: charges for use of rail network in Land Transport Act 1998

Changes will also ensure track users can contribute to the costs of the rail network in a fair and transparent way. A minor amendment to the Land Transport Act 1998 will allow fees and charges established by regulations under Part 11 of that Act to become land transport revenue. This change will allow track user charges, set by regulation to recover rail network costs from track users, to be paid into the national land transport fund. A consequential amendment to the Legislation Act 2012 is required to ensure any regulations that are made for this purpose will be classified as confirmable instruments under that Act.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Ministry of Transport is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Bill. The disclosure statement provides access to information about the policy development of the Bill and identifies any significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill.

Regulatory impact assessment

The Ministry of Transport produced a regulatory impact assessment on 21 August 2019 to help inform the main policy decisions taken by the Government relating to the contents of this Bill.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 provides that the Bill, once passed, will take effect on 1 July 2020.

Part 1Amendments to Land Transport Management Act 2003

Clause 3 provides that Part 1 amends the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

Clause 4 amends section 5 of the LTMA to insert new definitions relevant to new sections 22A to 22G (inserted by clause 11) and to amend the definition of regional transport committee as it relates to Auckland (for the purposes of the amendments in clause 13). A definition of region is also inserted.

Clause 5 inserts new section 5A into the LTMA to define the term rail activity. The definition may be extended or limited by regulations.

Clause 6 amends paragraph (c) of the definition of land transport revenue in section 6 of the LTMA to include an express reference to Part 11 of the Land Transport Act 1998. This amendment relates to the amendment in clause 16. The amendment to paragraph (c) also removes a reference to the Transport (Vehicle and Driver Registration and Licensing) Act 1986. That Act was repealed in 2011.

Clause 7 makes 2 amendments to section 9 of the LTMA. The first authorises the Crown to utilise land transport revenue to fund rail activities or combinations of rail activities approved by the Minister under new section 22E (inserted by clause 11). The second amendment clarifies that the Crown, when utilising money from that fund, may apply that money to land transport investment-related strategy and policy activities by the insertion of new paragraph (iva) in subsection 9(2)(b).

Clause 8 amends section 10 of the LTMA to authorise the national land transport fund to be used to pay for rail activities or combinations of rail activities approved by the Minister under new section 22E.

Clause 9 amends section 16 of the LTMA, which relates to the form and content of regional land transport plans. The amendment requires the plans for the Auckland and Wellington regions (and any other region that the Minister so requires under new section 105A (inserted by clause 14)) to include a list of rail activities that have significance for the region and that are included in the current rail network investment programme or that KiwiRail intends to propose be included in the programme immediately after that (see new section 22A in clause 11).

Clause 10 amends section 19C of the LTMA, which sets out the matters that must be included in a national land transport programme. The amendment requires a programme to also include rail activities or combinations of rail activities that have funding approval under new section 22E.

Clause 11 inserts 7 new provisions into the LTMA, new sections 22A to 22G, which relate to the planning and funding of certain rail activities provided by or on behalf of KiwiRail. New section 22A requires KiwiRail to prepare a programme of activities (the rail network investment programme) for which it seeks funding from the national land transport fund. The Minister may approve the programme under new section 22B, but only after having consulted KiwiRail’s shareholding Ministers and receiving advice from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) (defined in the LTMA as the Agency). Once a programme is approved, the rail activities or combinations of activities in the programme are then eligible for funding under new section 22E if the Minister approves their funding (and, again, provided the Minister has consulted KiwiRail’s shareholding Ministers and received advice from NZTA). New section 22G requires KiwiRail to apply a particular procurement procedure to activities funded in this manner.

New section 22E also authorises the Minister to approve funding of urgent or emergency rail activities without following the usual planning and funding framework.

Clause 12 inserts new section 102A into the LTMA, which confers a new monitoring duty on NZTA in relation to the delivery of rail activities approved by the Minister under the new framework (and a corresponding duty on KiwiRail to provide sufficient relevant information so that NZTA can properly fulfil this new obligation).

Clause 13 amends section 105 of the LTMA, which relates to the establishment of regional transport committees. The section will now be subject to the requirements in new section 105A.

Clause 14 inserts new section 105A into the LTMA and requires an additional member to be appointed to certain regional transport committees. The requirement applies to the committees for Auckland and the Wellington region and any other regional committee that the Minister names, by notice in the Gazette. The additional member must be appointed by KiwiRail, but the member has no voting rights and must not preside at any meeting of the committee.

Part 2Amendments to other legislation

Clause 15 provides that clauses 16 and 17 amend the Land Transport Act 1998 (the LTA).

Clause 16 amends section 168 of the LTA, which empowers regulations to be made under the LTA in relation to fees and charges for land transport. The amendment adds to the scope of the regulation-making power to provide that regulations may identify those fees and charges that are to be treated as land transport revenue for the purposes of the LTMA.

Clause 17 inserts new section 168AA into the LTA and imposes procedural requirements on an Order in Council making regulations that prescribe fees or charges that are to be treated as land transport revenue for the purposes of the LTMA, including that the order is a confirmable instrument under section 47B of the Legislation Act 2012.

Clause 18 amends the Legislation Act 2012 to insert a reference to the confirmable instrument provision inserted by clause 17.