187 The Review's Terms of Reference stated that the purpose of the Review was: to undertake a review of the machinery of government, governance and funding arrangements for the land transport sector, and make recommendations to Ministers on what changes to investment planning, funding and structure may be needed to enhance agency responsiveness, performance, capability and value for money.
188 The Next Steps report has focussed on issues and concerns in the Government land transport sector. It is important, however, to record that substantial performance improvements have been achieved by the Ministry, Land Transport NZ and Transit NZ. These improvements have endured through a period of sustained growth in terms of complex urban road construction projects.
189 The report recommends a package of proposed changes, which would address the key concerns as follows:
- agency responsiveness would be improved through: additional guidance from Government in terms of its priorities via the GPS; better defined roles and responsibilities for the central Government agencies resulting in improved communication and information sharing; and a longer planning cycle to reduce churn within the system;
- performance would be improved across the land transport sector as roles and responsibilities would be clearer, the Ministry would be stronger, duplication would be minimised and collaboration and cooperation would be the norm among the 'transport team.' Priorities and the necessary trade offs would be clearer, the planning and funding cycle would be longer, and the current churn in the system would be reduced;
- capability is an area that each agency would need to build to fulfil the clearly identified roles and functions. Key areas where capability needs to be boosted include strategic policy development, evaluation and monitoring; and
- value for money would be a more prominent consideration in the establishment of the NLTP and its delivery. Priorities and the necessary trade offs would be clearer in an overarching context of cost-effectiveness. The aim would be to deliver the NLTP for each three year period in keeping with the Government's stated priorities (GPS) and within the NLTF. The Government's revenue and cost guarantees would be superseded, as these proposals are designed to achieve certainty while retaining incentives on the land transport agencies to achieve value for money.