Safety at major intersections can never be overstated. Right now I am working on getting the Minister of Transport, Gerry Brownlee, involved in discussions surrounding safety at the junction of SH 1 and SH 7 – the turn-off to Hanmer and Lewis Pass.
This high speed junction has some fundamental flaws and I hope to get the minister to consider possible changes before there are any fatalities.
There is general consensus that something needs to be done and I will be advocating for improvements.
Staying on the subject of transport, Gerry Brownlee is inviting the agricultural sector to have its say on proposed changes to transport regulations for agricultural vehicles. Last year the government announced the need to ensure these rules were protecting safety without imposing unnecessary red tape.
The primary concern is whether the current rules properly take account of the realities facing the industry and how they compare to those in other developed countries.
It’s my hope that those in the agricultural sector will engage in the discussion while it is taking place because I would hate to see good intentions result in the burden of more red tape and an undesirable situation being made worse. I urge everyone involved in the agricultural sector to be involved to ensure the rules are suited to the sector.
The proposed changes should improve safety, reduce compliance costs for industry and make the law easier to understand and enforce.
A position paper setting out the proposed changes as well as information on how to make a submission is available on the Ministry of Transport website: www.transport.govt.nz
The government began the year with a heavy workload ensuring greater access for our goods in overseas markets. As a food producing economy it’s important that local businesses, farmers and growers have good access to their overseas markets.
This year we have led successful trade missions to China, South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore. These missions are part of our plan to raise the profile of our exporters in rapidly expanding consumer markets. They have helped develop our networks and open doors in these markets, reinforcing the importance of Asia to the future of New Zealand.
The deputy prime minister and senior ministers have been in Australia furthering the single economic market. Economic development minister, Steven Joyce, has just returned from the Middle East where he led a delegation promoting New Zealand’s profile as a destination for international students.
Trade minister Tim Groser has led a mission of trade companies to China and attended the G20 trade ministers meeting in Mexico.
A lot of hard work is going on behind the scenes; unfortunately much of it has low priority in the media as it isn’t sensational news, just vitally important to our future prosperity.