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May/June 2016

This is the newsletter of the Road Efficiency Group, a joint project between local authorities and the NZ Transport Agency to drive value for money and customer focus in road asset management.

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New REG Leadership Group structure and new members

Rui Leitao has stepped up to the role as chair of the REG Leadership Group.  Rui on behalf of REG and the sector has offered a big thanks to Dawn for her great work over the past year. Thanks also to Siri Rangamuwa, Jag Pannu, Janice Brass, Tony Lange and Gordon Hart who are stepping down from the Leadership Group, but remain involved through the ONRC and Data sub-groups.

Rui is Roading Manager at Whanganui District Council, and has spent most of his career in the Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu regions.  He has worked for all sides of the industry – Contractor, Consultant and Principal.  He is the recipient of two Best Practice Awards: from the New Zealand Planning Institute in 2012 for his work on the Whanganui Urban Transportation Strategy; and a Roading Excellence Award for his work on the Whanganui Alliance.

Welcome to our new Leadership Group members:
Garry McGraw of Far North District Council has broad experience over 25 years in road asset management.  He has spent much of that time in Western Australia, developing and delivering asset management plans, and systems for incorporating whole-of-life cost into asset planning. He has project managed the delivery of large road infrastructure projects, so Garry has both hands-on and high level experience. 

Denis Lewis from Taupo District Council has been an engineer for local government since the early 1980s, mainly in roading around Taranaki and Bay of Plenty.  He’s now the manager in charge of Taupo DC’s infrastructure, including transport, 3 waters and solid waste.  Denis also runs marathons (20+) including the New York, Sydney & Gold Coast, and three Ironman New Zealands.

Chris Gregory is Head of Transport at Christchurch City Council, and his career has been spent almost entirely in the public sector. An early six year stint in the Far North was followed by a period of 12 years in Queenstown where he worked on some very interesting projects including sealing of the last 20km of Crown Range Road and ownership of Imtech Ltd. Currently as Head of Transport for Christchurch City he is enjoying the challenges that the post-rebuild environment brings. His career has spanned all infrastructure assets and the management of those so he is looking forward to contributing to REG from that background.

REG membership revolves annually.  If you are interested in participating, please email REG through

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ONRC Performance Measures – easily explained for stakeholders

A new, simplified version of the ONRC Performance Measures Guidance Document has been posted on the REG website.

The ONRC Performance Measures: a general guide is aimed at newly elected members, CEOs and other non-specialists in road asset management. Those who will be responsible for delivering against the measures are also likely to find it useful as a starting point.

REG member Julie Muir explains, “Feedback from the sector indicated that simplified tools are needed, and we hope the general guide will help with winning hearts and minds.

“People will be able to print an attractive, accessible document off the website to take to meetings and circulate to relevant stakeholders. It should be easier to have the conversations you need to about the business case approach.”

A simplified version of the individual performance measures is in development.

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RCA Business Case and AMP Milestones

Adherence to the timetable below should ensure that your RCA successfully integrates business case principles into your activity management plan, in time for the next NLTP (relevant workshops are identified in brackets and attendance is strongly encouraged). You can also use REG resources listed with each action:

Understand the context for your AMP

April/May 2016: Point of Entry discussions between RCAs and NZTA (Round 3&4 workshops). Resources: EquiP guidelines, REG online case studies.

June/August 2016: Development of strategic context and assessments; early engagement with key stakeholders (Round 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: Identify network performance issues (Round 6 workshops). Resources: REG online case study: Maintaining and renewing sealed pavements under the ONRC.

October-November 2016: Develop a programme of activities to address network performance issues (Round 7 workshops). Resources as above.

January-April 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: Write up your draft AMP. Resources: NZTA and Regional Councils available to advise.

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The Reporting Tool … and the new Comparative Reporting Tool

The ONRC Performance Measures Reporting Tool is being well used by roading engineers to assist in understanding the implications of the ONRC for their networks.

The tool has been designed through a collaborative process (led by Dawn Inglis of Waipa DC), including interviews with council officers, to ensure that it is as user-friendly as possible.

Dawn explains, “As a council officer myself, I wanted to have tangible data that I can interpret easily and have confidence in.  As each of us improves the quality of our data in RAMM, the reporting tool is exponentially improved and everyone benefits, not only because we can extrapolate our own information, but because we can develop meaningful benchmarking when we have enough data for sound comparisons.”

Work is now underway on a comparative reporting tool to enable RCAs to view their outcomes relative to others.  It will be confidential where appropriate, for example for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

The comparative reporting tool can be viewed at using your existing ONRC Performance Measures Reporting Tool login.  Please call 0800 ONRCPM (0800 667 276) if you need a login.

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Case study: Tairāwhiti Roads

The Tairāwhiti Roads case study has been posted in the Best Practice section of the REG website.

NZTA and Gisborne District Council now manage the region’s roads in one business unit, benefiting from shared knowledge in a region which has not previously had NZTA staff residing there.

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Road managers urged to comment on draft Data Standard

A draft of the Austroads ‘Data Standard for Road Management and Investment in Australia and New Zealand’ is being released for stakeholder feedback. 

The Data Standard project started in 2015 in response to a need to standardise and harmonise data sets that support common road management and investment functions.

The Standard focusses on data that is routinely shared between organisations and provides consistency in definition and format.  It has been designed to cater for different levels of complexity to ensure it can be used by small local councils and large agencies and to interface with existing data collection, finance, risk, and information management systems.

The use of consistent road asset data will create opportunities for large and small road managers to share business critical information.  It will allow road managers to easily compare information, leading to improved strategic decision making and planning.

Other benefits to road managers include more productive design, construction, maintenance and operation of the roads network.  Adopting a standard approach to data storage and reporting is also expected to offer significant time savings.
This version of the standard builds on a draft that was the subject of extensive consultation across Australia and New Zealand in February and March of this year.

Organisations who use road data for their asset and service performance assessment, performance benchmarking, road research, policy development, expenditure comparisons and funding approvals are encouraged to provide feedback on the standard. 

For further information or to register an interest in this project visit

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New research and data from NZTA Highway Network and Operations (HNO)

Over the last four years, HNO have been changing the way they manage the national state highway network, aimed at delivering better outcomes for users.  They’ve been focusing on customer insight work, and understanding the gap between current levels of service and the desired outcomes in the ONRC framework.  They’ve also been conducting some practical research which will be of interest to the road industry as a whole: 

1. Research on reducing pavement flushing, an issue that can affect a number of ONRC outcomes for users. The research has found that the real causes of flushing are a breakdown of the chip in roads, and water leaking into the pavement under the seal. The team is now taking a new approach to assessing chip and identifying suitable supply sources to minimise the incidence of flushing.

2. A joint research project with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to minimise the risk of water leaking into the pavement.

3. Research and development of a new specification for asphalt. The new specification, M1-A Performance specification for asphalt binders, predicts binder performance in asphalt with respect to traffic volumes and speed within the New Zealand temperature range.
It sets out four performance levels (standard (S), heavy (H), very heavy (V) and extreme (E)) based on traffic in equivalent standard axles. To meet some of these grades, particularly the V and E grades, the asphalt supplier may decide to use additives, such as polymers, to meet the properties.
The M1 specification is still in use for chip sealing binders and asphalt on low traffic local government roads.
The new M1-A can be found on and for a simplified selection table, go to

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