Garry’s away; Axel’s having a crack at putting a newsletter together
This week, we had the 2020 Transportation Conference in Christchurch. It’s the premier event for the industry and it’s been going for a few decades. A good 200 people came together for a three-day gathering in our town hall. The theme was equity in transportation.
It seemed like a lofty goal to me to devote a whole conference to “equity” but they’ve really pulled this off. There were a lot of presentations that honed in on the topic. We even heard from an English product designer via video link and it was entirely relevant to transportation professionals. The final presentation was by a tetraplegic whose entire presentation was about inclusion.
Highlights for me were Dr Rhys Jones (transport for human and planetary wellbeing), Prof. Susan Krumdieck (transition of the Upper North Island supply chain), and Associate Minister Julie Anne Genter (ministerial update). Jones stressed the message that a quantum shift is necessary for transportation. Krumdieck looked at the big picture how Northport and Port of Tauranga need to inter-relate to the Port of Auckland. Our minister is always a favourite as she used to come to these conferences when she was still our transport planner colleague.
Many of the speakers stressed the need to get our emissions down, and what they and their organisations are doing towards this. It’s a shame that there is so much inertia in the system, as decisions take a long time to filter down into action. Under the current government, we would never have started the Northern Arterial, and yet construction is not even finished although we are about to go to the polling booths again – such is the lag time.