We had heard from Genter about aiming for zero deaths but now (as war threatens in Ukraine) we are given the target date

Zero road deaths. Haven’t we heard about this policy ambition before?

We refer to the blaring from the Beehive today of a road safety initiative under the heading Govt launches road safety campaign with target of zero road deaths

The press release starts:

Transport Minister Michael Wood and Police Minister Poto Williams have today launched the Road to Zero public awareness campaign, which sets a target of zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050, and a 40 per cent reduction by 2030.   

But on February 15, an item on the StopPress website headed FCB NZ launches new ‘Road to Zero’ campaign for Waka Kotahi said:

FCB, in partnership with Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency, has launched the first public awareness campaign as part of the Road to Zero strategy. 

Are these the same campaigns?

Either way, it looks like reducing road deaths to zero by 2050 is the new bit of the policy and we say good luck with that.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta (we suspect) will have more success in persuading Russia “to act consistently with its international obligations, and return to diplomatic negotiations as a pathway to resolve this conflict.”

She said today the Russian Ambassador is being called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to hear New Zealand’s strong opposition to Russian actions in Ukraine and this country condemns what seems to be the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine territory.

But the Russians have not gone far enough – yet – to trigger retaliatory action by the authorities in Wellington, because Mahuta said that “in the event of a full invasion of Ukraine”, the New Zealand Government is prepared to respond with a suite of measures in line with those of our partners.

This action will send a clear message of unity against an act of Russian aggression and:

“These measures span the range of options available to New Zealand, including travel bans, controlled export bans and diplomatic measures.”

Mahuta – clearly – is worried about the welfare and wellbeing of people around the globe as the threat of a wider conflict looms.

Her colleagues back in The Beehive have been more limited with the focus of their initiatives to improve health and wellbeing:

  • Health Minister Andrew Little says the Government has made more mental health and addiction supports ($3.8 million of funding) immediately available to Auckland’s tertiary education institutions to coincide with the start of the study year. This support is for about 80,000 students. The funding comes from the $25 million Budget 2020 Tertiary Student Mental Wellbeing package and is in addition to funding made available to Te Pukenga, which provided more wellbeing supports at the two Auckland Polytechnics.
  • Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced a new national abortion telehealth service called Decide , designed to connect people to abortion information, advice and counselling over the phone, from health practitioners anywhere in the country. No mention was made of the cost.
  • The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding in the Buller and southern Tasman districts.
  • The findings of a joint Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) pilot initiative to demonstrate the value of Pacific social enterprise in New Zealand have been published. The findings show the government ways of creating new employment opportunities, and how to generate wealth through increased levels of income, revenue, and capital for Pacific communities.

Point of Order acknowledges the enormity of events unfolding on the Ukraine–Russia border and the nature of the  threat to world peace.  Setting a zero deaths objective in that highly inflammatory situation would be worthy but the stuff of fantasy.

Much the same can be said of the launch of the Road to Zero public awareness campaign, which sets a target of zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050, and a 40 per cent reduction by 2030.

“There should be zero tolerance for people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. The Road to Zero strategy is part of our plan to build the safest road system we can, and work towards zero road deaths and serious injuries,” Michael Wood said.

“We’re aiming for significant reductions in a relatively short space of time, and we’re targeting all aspects of the transport system to get there. We’re investing in safer infrastructure, we’re working to get more people into safer vehicles, we’re rolling out safer speed limits, and we’re refocusing on targeted and effective Police enforcement.

“Road to Zero is not about any single initiative but about how we develop an overall safer system. It’s important for people to know that a large reduction in road deaths and serious injuries is achievable – the measures that are being introduced are internationally proven and have reduced deaths and serious injuries when systematically rolled out.

“There’s a huge amount of work being done, and we won’t get to zero deaths and serious injuries overnight, but by having zero as the goal and working towards it with a clear plan and a hard target for 2030, we can save thousands of lives, which is well worth fighting for,” Michael Wood said.

Poto Williams said the government is investing $2.9 billion in Road to Zero activities over the next three years, including $1.2 billion for road policing, which is an increase of $140 million compared with the previous three years.

It has also commissioned an independent review to ensure road policing activities and safety infrastructure investments are effectively prioritised, delivered, and monitored as part of Road to Zero.

The timing is interesting.  On January 27 Stuff drew attention to a  report into New Zealand’s road safety strategy which found there was little accountability of spending by the Transport Agency and Police, which have struggled to deliver results.

The review, commissioned by the Ministry of Transport, found senior managers at the agencies have a good understanding of the “Road to Zero” strategy.

But at the coal face, delivery of the strategy hasn’t been as expected, according the review, conducted by MartinJenkins, a consultancy.

Within Police, old school attitudes promoting crime over road safety have contributed to a failure to meet road policing targets. Waka Kotahi, meanwhile, has been unprepared for the “straightforward” realities of infrastructure upgrades to improve safety, the review concluded.

Stuff went on to say:

Police is funded to have 1070 staff working on the road, spending at least 90 percent of their time on road policing. General duties staff are expected to spend up to 15 percent of their time on road policing jobs.

But in reality, the report by MartinJenkins said, as many as 30 per cent of road policing staff were pulled onto other duties.

That figure wasn’t concrete, either, because of poor data collection within Police.

More recently, on February 15, RNZ reported the results of an Official Information Act request.

A nationwide police operation to cut down on high-risk driving and road deaths has missed its target, an OIA reveals.

Most police districts missed most of their targets most of the time, reports released under the OIA about Operation Deterrence that ran for six months till December 2021 show.

Some key measures were worse than before the operation began.

 Point of Order’s dip into the files dug up the StopPress report which reminded us Road to Zero was launched by the Ministry of Transport in 2019.

Underpinned by a vision of zero deaths and serious injuries in New Zealand, Road to Zero specifically aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads by 40 per cent by 2030 (based on 2018 levels).

But the government has been banging on about zero deaths for longer than that.

In April 2018, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced the development of the Government’s new road safety strategy:

“As part of the development of a new road safety strategy the Government will investigate setting a target of zero road deaths,” says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

“I accept that a target of zero death would be audacious, but ambitious targets are need to focus the resources of both central and local government to save lives on our roads.”

 In July 2019 the Government sought feedback on a road safety plan that aimed to prevent 750 deaths and 5,600 serious injuries on New Zealand roads over the next 10 years.

Julie Anne Genter said the plan adopted the world-leading Vision Zero approach to road safety, which applied the principle that no one should be killed or seriously injured on our roads.

On December 19 2019 Genter announced the launch of the Road to Zero strategy and initial action plan.

She said Road to Zero included a new commitment to boost road safety investment by 25 per cent to around $1 billion per year over the next decade.

“To drive real action Road to Zero sets a target to reduce annual deaths and serious injuries by 40 percent by 2030 (compared to the 377 people killed last year).

“Meeting this target would save 750 lives and prevent 5,600 serious injuries on New Zealand roads over the next decade”

 Latest from the Beehive

Russian Ambassador called in over Ukraine

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta says the Ambassador of the Russian Federation is being called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade amid escalating actions from Russia.

Government paves pathway for Pacific prosperity

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says Pacific social enterprise makes a big difference to economic and social outcomes for Pacific peoples.

Mental health supports boosted for tertiary students

The Government has made more mental health and addiction supports immediately available to Auckland’s tertiary education institutions to coincide with the start of the study year.

Government launches free telehealth service to provide 24/7 abortion support

A new national abortion telehealth service called Decide is the latest milestone in improving abortion services, Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today.

Govt launches road safety campaign with target of zero road deaths

Transport Minister Michael Wood and Police Minister Poto Williams have today launched the Road to Zero public awareness campaign, which sets a target of zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050, and a 40 per cent reduction by 2030.

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12 thoughts on “We had heard from Genter about aiming for zero deaths but now (as war threatens in Ukraine) we are given the target date

  1. The latest mindless NZTA “Road to Zero” TV ad (featuring a “toll” of the youngest child) is another in a series which must have cost taxpayers millions in consulting fees and purchased advertising time and we can be near certain that nobody has the faintest idea of their impact. They don’t appear to have helped very much with the road toll. Money down the drain just so NZTA and no accountability for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Round here, what Road to Zero means is lowering the speed limit on wide flat straight roads. It is also putting up the cheese grater central barriers and Arnco side walls that narrow the single lanes down to effectively a funnel. It hasn’t included fixing potholes in the road right in the middle of the new narrow path. Maybe those holes and uneven surfaces are part of “traffic calming” measures.
    The money that just a kilometre of the Auckland train to nowhere line is costing, extracted from road users, would pay for a decent sealing job on all the roads.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. PS to my previous EMAIL…………CARS DO NOT KILL…….IT IS THE PERSON BEHIND THE WHEEL! HIS OR HER DRIVING SKILLS. I WAS A COMPANY REP. FROM 1971 TO 1089, 1989 to 2021 retired driver! gave up my licence…lost my patience……from Trevor.. Julie has it all wrong..

    Like

      1. Terry….No, 987 AD was not a very GOOD year, The winter of 987/988.in the UK, the River Thames froze over for 120 DAYS! people walked over it. Tell me more? Do you have an email number?? Thank you from Trevor.

        Like

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