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Newsletter July/August 2016

This newsletter is produced by the Road Efficiency Group to support the transport sector in its transition to the One Network Road Classification and business case approach to investment planning.

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REGional Champions launched

The REGional Champions group is up and running. Its primary role is to act as REG support personnel within the regions.

REGional Champions will assist with the workshops, and give workshop participants a call to remind about any preparation required before each workshop and any follow up work to be done after. They will also be your local go-to person if you have any concerns or questions about anything related to the workshops. They may not always know the answer but they will help you find it.

These Champions are champs in more ways than one, because just like all other local authority and NZTA people involved in REG they are doing this work voluntarily over and above their already busy day jobs, so please give them as much support as they can offer you.

An induction meeting was held in Wellington on 13 July, where the champions were taken through the vision, values and objectives of REG.

Members are:
Garry McGraw – Northland/Auckland
Gordon Naidoo – Waikato
Martin Taylor – Bay of Plenty
Shawn McKinley – Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay
Carolyn Copeland – Central NI/Taranaki
Yvonne Warnaar – Canterbury
Alison Tomlinson – Otago/Southland
Michael Jacobson – Metros

Champions for Wellington and Top of the South/West Coast are still to be confirmed.

Please contact your champion if you need help, or just to introduce yourself.

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Award for Southland District Council

Congratulations to the transport team at Southland District Council – proud recipients of an LGNZ Award for Excellence, “best practice for infrastructure management.”

Over the past three years Southland District have rolled out three significant initiatives which have contributed to their award:

- “Eyes and Ears” network monitoring of Southland roads via Fonterra Fleet (recently upgraded using Roadroid).

- An Economic Network Plan with an Export Merit index across the network, integrated with the ONRC.

- Three large alliance maintenance contracts that are relationship-based on shared risk.

Southland District Council partnered on these projects with Fonterra, Fulton Hogan, SouthRoads, NZTA, MWH, Roadroid, and Morrison Low.

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Feedback sought

The NZ Transport Agency sent the draft Investment Assessment Criteria for Road Maintenance Programmes to local authorities on 1 July. Feedback must be received by Friday 19 August.

The criteria emphasise the need for AMPs to:

- be based on a solid evidence base with robust options analysis

- show a clear link to the ONRC framework

- embed the customer levels of service in an appropriate way for the network

- demonstrate where the approved organisation’s network performance and cost of delivery sits on a comparative basis to similar networks i.e. self-benchmarking analysis

- demonstrate best practice activity management that addresses the principles of the Business Case Approach, supported by good practice asset management.

If you have any questions about the draft criteria, please contact Mark Yaxley (National Portfolio Manager, Activity Management Planning)

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What would Good look like?

HNO commissioned an asset management maturity review from consultants Just Add Lime in mid 2015. Its aim was to establish how the Transport Agency could improve its activity management, what would be achieved and what is required to make the change.

The review identified some levers for change:

Simplicity – Many people struggle to connect the strategic context with their day-to-day roles. A clear line of sight needs to be established, and communicated, between policy objectives and the operations which support them.

Leadership – HNO needs to identify and demonstrate best practice, both for its own success and to help others succeed. Often this will involve working collaboratively to achieve joint outcomes.

Valuable and meaningful contribution – People doing a great job need to be told that they’re doing a great job, and helped to improve. Investing in staff development and support is critical to success.

Confidence – HNO needs to make transparent investment decisions about cost, risk and levels of service in a complex environment. To have confidence in these decisions, HNO and all RCAs need a sophisticated suite of tools and information models.

In response to the review, HNO is developing a State Highways Strategic Direction and other policy documents, as part of a “top down” approach which will begin to establish the necessary line of sight between policy and operations. These are part of a programme of 36 improvements recommended by Just Add Lime.

An Investor Confidence Rating review in late 2015, conducted by Treasury, recommended that the programme be implemented.  This would lift HNO’s rating to the top band, Excelling or Advanced. Many of the improvements are already being addressed as part of HNO’s existing work programme.

Other activities are being scoped and will be implemented over the next few years to ensure our activity management is at the level appropriate for our infrastructure enabled customer service delivery.

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Regional Transport Committees – some useful questions

REG is reaching out to Regional Transport Committees (RTCs), to ensure that elected members are informed and supportive about the ONRC and the move to a business case approach.

For the Canterbury RTC in June, REG Governance Group member Jim Palmer (CEO of Waimakariri DC) came up with some questions which RTCs and elected members generally should ask their transport staff:

What will the ONRC do for our Council? – what will it tell us?

What financial impact will the new ONRC system have for our Council?

With funding always limited and trade-offs required (both nationally and across each council), do we have the resources to meet the timeframes?

What is comparative benchmarking? How will it align with the recently announced DIA ‘snapshot’ experience and/or LGNZ Excellence framework currently being developed?

REG presentations to RTCs are ongoing.

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Carriageways in RAMM

Carriageways were assigned ONRC categories some time ago, but there was no visibility of this within the carriageway table.

This is now possible, with a new tab “ONRC” inside the Carriageway Detail screen, and a selectable column in the Grid view.  This is currently in the “Beta” version of RAMM but will be available in the production version of RAMM from 20 August.

If RAMM users have created user defined tables for their ONRC hierarchy in the meantime, they may wish to review these to ensure that there is only a single location in RAMM to keep up to date.

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RCA business case and AMP milestones

The September round of workshops will focus on the ONRC CLoS and performance measures, and helping build your capability to engage and communicate. These issues were identified in tranisition plans across the country and have been a key focus for REG in the past few months.

Please review your transition plan and improvement timeline before your workshop.

After your workshop, you will need to update your improvement plan to reflect the knowledge gained.

Milestones and timeline

Remember to review your transition plan for the busy year ahead. You’ll need to ensure all the strands of business are in alignment to deliver on time: service delivery, governance, approval processes, data, communications.

Understand the context for your AMP

May-August 2016: Review current strategy and start developing your strategic case. Complete self-assessment. Early engagement with key stakeholders and begin Point-of-Entry discussions with NZ Transport Agency (Round 4,5&6 workshops).

Resources: State Highway AMP, Auckland Transport 2015-18 AMP, Central Otago DC 2015/16-25/26 AMP Review, Auckland Transport ONRC gap analysis; REG online case studies.

Develop your AMP (timing variable between regions)

August-September 2016: Trial CLoS and performance measures and assess gaps in data. Identify network performance issues (Round 5&6 workshops).

Resources: REG online case study: Maintaining and renewing sealed pavements under the ONRC; ONRC Performance Measures – a general guide for using CLoS and performance measures.

October-November 2016: Develop a programme of activities to address network performance issues by assessing against defined strategic case problems (Round 7 workshops).

January-March 2017: Undertake gap analysis and identify benefits (Round 8 workshops).

Resources: REG online case study: Improved Option Selection - forward works programme optimisation.

May-August 2017: Identify programmes requiring investment or disinvestment.

Resources: REG online case study: NZTA programme review process.

July-October 2017: Finalise BCA AMP to enable engagement in LTP/RLTP process.

Resources: NZTA and regional councils available to advise.

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