Land Transport Management Amendment Bill

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Explanatory note

General policy statement

The Land Transport Management Amendment Bill (the Bill) has 3 main components. First, it proposes changes to the planning and funding framework that channels around $3 billion of central government funding annually towards land transport activities, including roading, public transport, and road safety. Secondly, it proposes changes to streamline the framework for assessing toll road schemes. Thirdly, it seeks to establish in legislation a new policy framework for building a long-term partnership between regional councils and public transport operators, known as the public transport operating model.

Planning and funding

The Bill will amend the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (the Act) to simplify the planning and funding framework and repeal the Act’s regional fuel tax provisions.

The funding framework will be refined to focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of public expenditure. This will be reflected in a new purpose and streamlined decision-making criteria that will emphasise effectiveness, efficiency, and safety.

The current inconsistencies and ambiguities in the purpose and decision-making criteria create uncertainty and encourage needless bureaucracy. The Bill proposes changes to the purpose and decision-making criteria that will make the application of the Act simpler, clearer, and easier to understand and interpret, reduce compliance costs, and simplify processes. With public investment in the land transport system worth $3 billion annually, such streamlining has the potential to yield significant gains over time.

The Bill also proposes that land transport revenue be used to meet the costs of activities related to the protection of the land transport revenue base and the maintenance of the integrity of the revenue system, subject to ministerial approval.

In order to better align national and regional planning and decision making, planning documents will be combined. The regional land transport strategy and regional land transport programme will be consolidated into a new planning document, the regional land transport plan. This new document will set out each region’s land transport objectives, policies, and measures for at least a 10–year period. The national land transport strategy and government policy statement will also be merged into a single government policy statement on land transport. This will be used to set central government’s outcomes, objectives, and impacts for the land transport sector for at least 10 years. These reforms have the potential to reduce process costs without any adverse effect on outcomes.

As part of improving the approach to regional planning, the duty to include non-voting representatives of a prescribed list of interests as members of regional transport committees will be removed. This will result in smaller committees and provide an improved basis for decision making. The smaller committees will have the flexibility to decide who they need to hear from rather than have their engagement predetermined through legislation.

The Bill will also enable borrowing to be used by the New Zealand Transport Agency to fund future land transport projects, subject to the agreement of the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Finance. Currently, borrowing can only be used to manage the cash flow of the national land transport programme.

Finally, the regional fuel tax provisions will be repealed. This will avoid the likely costs of such a tax in a single region being spread across all regions within our nationwide fuel market, and will ensure that the additional costs of a refund system for non-transport fuel use are not imposed on productive areas of the economy.

Tolling and concession agreements

The Bill simplifies the process for approving road tolling schemes. It will replace a number of existing statutory tests, many of which are duplicated elsewhere in the Act, with a high-level test requiring tolling proposals to be efficient and effective. The consultation provisions, in particular, with be simplified to eliminate duplication between tolling and other funding decisions.

No change is proposed to the requirement that a toll road scheme must relate to a new road, or an existing road that is integral to a new road. There will also still need to be a feasible untolled alternative route.

The requirement that a tolling scheme must include 1 method of payment that does not collect personal information will be removed as an entirely anonymous, yet cost-effective, method is impractical. The Act will instead rely upon the Privacy Act 1993, and the availability of an untolled route, to safeguard privacy.

The Bill will additionally enable the existing toll road at Tauranga (Route K) to be brought under the Act’s toll road regime so that there is consistency between Route K and other toll roads (such as the Northern Gateway toll road north of Auckland) in the setting, collecting, and enforcing of tolls. The Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Act 2000 will be consequentially repealed.

The special concession agreement procedure for dealing with public-private partnerships involving tolling will be replaced by standard approved procurement procedures. Ministerial approval will also be required before land may be leased, or road management powers may be delegated, for tolling purposes under a public-private partnership.

Public transport operating model

The Bill will establish a new policy framework for planning and contracting public transport, known as the public transport operating model. The model was developed following a review of the Public Transport Management Act 2008. The review found there was little incentive for operators to invest in public transport services or for them to come up with innovative ways of improving services.

The Bill will require all bus, ferry, and rail services in a region to be segmented into units and provided under exclusive contract to the regional council. Services that do not form part of a region's core urban public transport network will be exempt from operating under contracts and will be identified as exempt services in a register held by the relevant regional council.

Regional councils will be required to identify in their regional public transport plans the units, the policies on procuring units, and the public transport services, taxis, and shuttles that the regional councils intend to assist financially.

The Bill will also repeal the Public Transport Management Act 2008, carrying over its provisions, as modified by the Bill, and thereby improving accessibility for users of land transport management legislation.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 relates to commencement. It provides that clauses 42 and 70(2) come into force on a date provided by Order in Council to enable a seamless transition from the tolling arrangements in place under the Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Act 2000, which the Bill is to repeal, to the tolling arrangements provided for in this Bill. Clause 66 comes into force on 1 May 2013. The rest of this Bill comes into force on 1 April 2013.

Clause 3 provides that the Bill amends the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (the principal Act).

Part 1
Amendments to Land Transport Management Act 2003

Clause 4 replaces section 3, which relates to the purpose of the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

Clause 5 amends section 4, which relates to the Treaty of Waitangi. The amendment removes several cross-references.

Clause 6 amends section 5, which relates to interpretation. The amendments insert, replace, and repeal definitions.

Clause 7 amends section 7A, which concerns the application of the principal Act to the Chatham Islands. The amendments provide that sections 13 to 18H of the principal Act apply to the Chatham Islands Council as if that council were a unitary authority, except that the council, rather than a regional transport committee, prepares and consults on a regional land transport plan for the Chatham Islands.

Clause 8 amends section 9, which concerns the Crown's authority to incur certain land transport expenses and capital expenditure. The amendments modify the Crown's authority.

Clause 9 amends section 10, which concerns the national land transport fund. The amendments refine the reference to cashflow and provide that inflows of the national land transport fund include, in certain circumstances, toll revenue collected in respect of a road tolling scheme.

Clause 10 amends section 11, which concerns the annual report on the national land transport fund. The amendment changes a reference to any national land transport strategy or the relevant government policy statement (GPS) to a reference to the relevant GPS on land transport.

Clause 11 amends the cross-heading above section 12. The amendment replaces a reference to regional land transport programmes with a reference to regional land transport plans.

Clause 12 repeals section 12.

Clause 13 amends section 13, which concerns responsibility for preparing and approving regional land transport programmes (which the Bill renames as regional land transport plans). The amendments extend the relevant period of time from 3 to 6 financial years, repeal section 13(4) and (5), and replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 14 replaces section 14. The replacement sets out the core requirements of regional land transport plans.

Clause 15 repeals section 15.

Clause 16 replaces section 16. New section 16 specifies the form and content of regional land transport plans.

Clause 17 repeals section 17.

Clause 18 amends section 18, which concerns consultation requirements. The amendment provides that, when preparing a regional land transport plan, a regional transport committee must consult in accordance with the consultation principles specified in section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002 and may use the special consultative procedure specified in section 83 of that Act.

Clause 19 amends section 18A, which concerns consultation principles. The amendments adjust the heading to the section and several cross-references, and replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 20 amends section 18B, which sets out the process for approving regional land transport programmes prepared by regional transport committees. The amendments replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 21 replaces section 18C with new sections 18C and 18CA. New section 18C provides that Auckland Transport must give reasons for not including in its regional land transport plan activities proposed by the Agency or the Auckland Council. New section 18CA provides for the review of regional land transport plans.

Clause 22 amends section 18D, which concerns the variation of regional land transport programmes. The amendments provide that a regional transport committee may prepare a variation to its regional land transport plan in certain circumstances, and replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 23 amends section 18E, which concerns changes to certain activities or combinations of activities. The amendments replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 24 amends section 18F, which concerns the availability of regional land transport programmes. The amendments replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 25 amends section 18G, which concerns separate consultation with Māori on particular activities. The amendments replace references to the approved organisation or the Agency with references to the approved organisation, the Auckland Council, or the Agency.

Clause 26 amends section 18J, which sets out the requirements that must be met before recommending Police activities. The amendments modify the requirements.

Clause 27 repeals section 19.

Clause 28 amends section 19A, which concerns the responsibility for preparing and adopting the national land transport programme. The amendments provide that the Agency must adopt a national land transport programme before 1 September of the first financial year to which it applies.

Clause 29 amends section 19B, which concerns the core requirements for the national land transport programme. The amendments modify the core requirements.

Clause 30 amends section 19C, which concerns the content of the national land transport programme. The amendments replace a reference to the relevant GPS with a reference to the GPS on land transport, and replace a reference to a regional land transport programme with a reference to a regional land transport plan.

Clause 31 amends section 19D, which concerns notification about a decision not to include activities in a national land transport programme. The amendment replaces a reference to a regional land transport programme with a reference to a regional land transport plan.

Clause 32 amends section 19E, which concerns variation of the national land transport programme. The amendment replaces section 19E(3). New section 19E(3) provides that the Agency must vary the national land transport programme if the GPS on land transport is amended.

Clause 33 amends section 20, which concerns the approval of activities. The amendments modify the relevant criteria.

Clause 34 amends section 22, which concerns funding for Māori roadways. The amendment replaces a reference to a regional land transport programme with a reference to a regional land transport plan.

Clause 35 amends section 26, which concerns payments that are exempt from the procurement procedure. The amendment replaces section 26(e) with a provision that provides that section 25 does not apply in relation to any payment made in respect of any public transport service identified in a regional public transport plan in relation to any 12-month period that follows the withdrawal or proposed withdrawal of the operator from the provision of the service.

Clause 36 amends section 35, which provides that the needs of the transport-disadvantaged must be considered. The amendments modify the heading to the section and replace a reference to a regional land transport programme with a reference to a regional land transport plan.

Clause 37 repeals section 38A.

Clause 38 repeals section 40.

Clause 39 amends the heading to subpart 2 of Part 2 by deleting the phrase “and concession agreements”.

Clause 40 amends section 46, which sets out the authority to establish road tolling schemes. The amendment provides that an order made to establish a road tolling scheme may specify certain activities for which toll revenue inflow may be used.

Clause 41 amends section 48, which concerns the procedure for making an order to establish a road tolling scheme. The amendment modifies the procedure.

Clause 42 inserts new sections 48A and 48B. New section 48A sets out the authority to establish a road tolling scheme for Route K. New section 48B provides for when the tolling power is exercisable for Route K.

Clause 43 repeals section 49.

Clause 44 repeals section 51(3).

Clause 45 amends section 52, which concerns who is liable to pay a toll. The amendments modify the provisions regarding notice and provide that tolls are not payable in respect of any motor vehicle that is an emergency vehicle or is exempt by an order made under section 46(1).

Clause 46 amends section 54, which concerns offences and penalties. The amendment deletes the words “refuses or” in section 54(1).

Clause 47 replaces the cross-heading above section 56 to reflect removal of provisions regarding concessionaires.

Clause 48 repeals sections 56 to 60, which concern concession agreements.

Clause 49 amends section 61, which concerns the delegation of roading functions and powers. The amendments remove the references to concessionaires.

Clause 50 amends section 62, which concerns the effect of delegation under section 61. The amendments remove the reference to concession agreement.

Clause 51 amends section 63, which concerns leasing. The amendment provides that a road controlling authority may, under certain circumstances, grant a lease for a term not longer than 49 years over any land under the control of the road controlling authority. The amendments also remove references to concession agreements.

Clause 52 amends section 65, which provides that Part 2 and other land transport legislation are enforceable in relation to toll roads. The amendments remove references to concession roads and clarify the phrasing of section 65(2)(a).

Clause 53 repeals subpart 3 of Part 2.

Clause 54 replaces sections 66 to 71 and the cross-heading above section 66. New section 66 provides that the Minister must issue a GPS on land transport. New section 67 concerns the preparation or review of the GPS on land transport. New section 68 deals with the content of the GPS on land transport. New section 69 concerns the status of the GPS on land transport. New section 70 requires the Agency to give effect to the GPS on land transport when performing its function under subpart 1 of Part 2 in respect of land transport planning and funding. New section 71 concerns the availability of the GPS on land transport.

Clause 55 repeals sections 72 to 89.

Clause 56 replaces section 90. New section 90 provides for amending the GPS on land transport.

Clause 57 amends section 91, which concerns the availability of the GPS. The amendments replace the references to the GPS with references to the GPS on land transport.

Clause 58 amends section 92, which provides an overview of subpart 1 of Part 4. The amendments modify the overview.

Clause 59 amends section 94, which sets out the objective of the Agency. The amendment modifies the objective of the Agency.

Clause 60 amends section 95, which sets out the functions of the Agency. The amendments refine the functions of the Agency.

Clause 61 amends section 96, which sets out the operating principles of the Agency. The amendments modify the principles, and replace references to regional land transport programmes with references to regional land transport plans.

Clause 62 amends section 100, which concerns the statement of intent of the Agency. The amendment replaces a reference to the GPS with a reference to the GPS on land transport.

Clause 63 amends section 101, which provides that the Secretary must monitor and review specified activities and procedures. The amendments make the provision discretionary by changing “must” to “may”.

Clause 64 amends section 102, which concerns the monitoring and reporting on delivery of approved Police activities or combinations of Police activities. The amendments give the Agency sole responsibility for this by removing references to the Secretary.

Clause 65 amends section 103, which provides that the Secretary may declare State highways. The amendments change this by providing that the Agency, with the consent of the Secretary, may declare State highways.

Clause 66 amends section 105, which concerns the establishment and representational composition of regional transport committees. The amendments refine the representational composition provisions.

Clause 67 replaces section 106. New section 106 sets out the functions of regional transport committees.

Clause 68 amends section 107, which concerns the procedure of regional transport committees. The amendments repeal section 107(1) and insert new section 107(4), which provides that, in the case of the regional transport committee for Auckland, the representative of the Agency has the same voting rights as that representative would have as a member of any other regional transport committee.

Clause 69 inserts new Part 5, which concerns the regulation of public transport, and new Part 6, which sets out transitional and savings provisions.

New section 114 provides for the application of certain provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to Auckland Transport.

New section 115 provides that any public transport service operated in a region must be provided under contract with a regional council unless it is an exempt service.

Subpart 1 of new Part 5, which consists of new sections 116 to 128, sets out the purpose of and requirements for regional public transport plans.

Subpart 2 of new Part 5, which consists of new sections 129 to 138, provides for the registration of exempt services.

Subpart 3 of new Part 5 sets out various miscellaneous provisions. New sections 139 to 144 concern appeals to the Environment Court, the District Court, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal. New section 145 sets out an offence for operating an unregistered exempt service (a fine not exceeding $30,000 for a first offence and $60,000 for second and subsequent offences). New section 146 sets out an offence for operating a bus service or a ferry service that is not exempt and not provided under contract to a regional council (a fine not exceeding $30,000 for a first offence and $60,000 for second and subsequent offences). New section 147 sets out an offence for varying a registered exempt service without giving the required notice (a fine not exceeding $30,000 for a first offence and $60,000 for second and subsequent offences). New section 148 provides a power to inspect records. New section 149 provides for the making of regulations specifying that a public transport service is an exempt service for the purposes of new Part 5, and requiring an exempt service to be provided under contract. New sections 150 to 156 set out transitional and savings provisions.

Part 2
Miscellaneous

Clause 70 repeals the Public Transport Management Act 2008 and the Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Act 2000.

Clause 71 provides that certain Acts, regulations, and rules are consequentially amended in the manner indicated in the Schedule.

The Schedule specifies consequential amendments to certain Acts, regulations, and rules.