South Island Regional Transport Committee Chairs Group

The South Island Regional Transport Committee Chairs Group was established in 2016 for the purpose of significantly improving transport outcomes in the South Island through collaboration and integration.

More information about the objectives and working principles of the Chairs Group is available in the South Island Regional Transport Collaboration Charter. This Charter is a living document and we anticipate that it will evolve over time.

Meet the Committee Members

  • Chair, Councillor Terry Sloan of the Marlborough District Council
  • Deputy Chair, Councillor Andrew Robb of the West Coast Regional Council.

The Chairs of all South Island Regional Transport Committees are members of the Group, and Environment Canterbury is currently the Secretariat.

South Canterbury Regional Transport committee members

Commitee Chair Group Focus

The Group’s initial focus has been on:

  • developing an approach to collaborating
  • developing a common front end for South Island Regional Land Transport Plans
  • providing input into the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018
  • sharing resources and knowledge.

The upcoming focus of the group is on identifying and facilitating integrated freight and visitor journey improvements, and identifying and assessing options for improving the resilience and security of the South Island transport network and linkages to the North Island.

These are ambitious targets. We will need to work with central government and our transport partners and stakeholders to make a difference.

As part of this work we will be looking at the potential gains that can be achieved through developing and utilising a South Island wide model of freight and tourist flows.

We will also continue to advocate for the ability to fund innovative and resilient multi-modal solutions to transport issues. We believe that central government needs to support multi-modal transport outcomes by removing financial incentives for local government that focus exclusively on road transport solutions.

There is, in particular, a need to bring road and rail into a common organisation model and to institute a workable transport funding system that enables modal substitutions to be made when such substitutions would lead to more effective transport outcomes.

Ultimately, the availability of effective transport alternatives is a core component of a resilient, multi-modal transport system, whether this be good quality walkways and footpaths that enable connectivity (particularly in light of the ageing population), reliable and efficient public transport services that reduce dependency on the single occupancy vehicles that congest urban centres, or wider consideration of the role rail and coastal shipping can play in developing resilient freight journeys.

Identifying opportunity for mode shift

A study commissioned by the committee found that rail freight is an economic way to take the pressure off South Island roads. Analysis indicated an investment of approximately $20-$30 million could shift the equivalent of 8% of existing road freight to rail, raising rail freight volumes by about 40% and result in $12-$18 million savings per year.

Read the study: Identification of the opportunity for mode shift and preparation of a mode shift implementation plan (PDF File, 6.61MB).


Contact us

Please contact Environment Canterbury on or 0800 324 636 as the secretariat for the Chairs Group. 

Key documents