Minister Doubts Truckie Safety Issues


Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the issues raised about truckies safety is news to him and he hasn’t seen any widespread evidence of it.

He told parliament: ” I have spoken to a number of truck drivers since I became the Minister of Transport, and none have raised that issue with me.”

This is the exchange between the minister and Labour’s Darien Fenton, who had called for an inquiry into truckie safety:

DARIEN FENTON (Labour) to the Minister of Transport: What advice, if any, did he receive about truck driver safety before amending the land transport rule for vehicle dimensions and mass to allow heavier trucks on our roads?

STEVEN JOYCE (Minister of Transport): I received advice from officials following the consultation phase of the rule development and prior to my report to Cabinet. The advice concluded that the vast majority of high-productivity vehicles will be existing vehicles that are designed to operate at heavier weights. They will not be wider or taller, and they are required to meet all existing safety requirements and standards. Road controlling authorities will also have the ability to impose any reasonable additional safety requirements and improve driver training, as recommended. These are all consistent with the objectives of Safer Journeys.
Darien Fenton: Did he receive any advice about how allowing heavier trucks on our roads will exacerbate the safety risks for truck drivers, who routinely drive up to 100 hours a week, who are not taking any breaks, and who are scrimping on maintenance, before he amended the rule?

STEVEN JOYCE: No, and it stands to reason that if the heavier-productivity vehicles are on the roads, they will reduce the number of vehicle movements required for the same freight task. That would reduce the safety risk of those said vehicles.

Darien Fenton: Does he stand by his statement on Radio New Zealand earlier this week that the Sunday Star-Times article that revealed it is common for truck drivers to work well beyond the legal number of hours just so that they can earn enough to make ends meet was the first time that he had heard of these problems; if so, how many truck drivers has he spoken with since he became the Minister of Transport?

STEVEN JOYCE: I have spoken to a number of truck drivers since I became the Minister of Transport, and none have raised that issue with me. I have received two items of correspondence in relation to work and logbook rules. I note that the Sunday Star-Times article raised an issue in relation to only one driver. If the member has concerns about the flouting of work, logbook, and time rules, then I strongly suggest that she contact the police or the New Zealand Transport Agency and get them to investigate those concerns.

Darien Fenton: Does he agree that there should be an investigation into any link that there may be between road safety and low rates of pay for truck drivers; if not, why not?

STEVEN JOYCE: No; I do not believe that an investigation is necessary unless there is a systematic abuse of the system. If the member has evidence of such abuse, then she should present that evidence either to me or to the New Zealand Transport Agency and to the police, because generally in this country if somebody is breaking the law, we have an enforcement agency called the police, and in transport we have another one called the New Zealand Transport Agency. That is what they are there for, so she should pass the information on to them.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    Lol, of course he does…

    I guess he’s never talked to a Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit Officer too then…

  2. John Dalley says:

    I predict by the time this National Govt is ejected from power, Steven Joyce will go down as the most hyped but most ineffective and destructive transport minister in history.Joyce talks a great game b8ut will turn out to be incompetent.

  3. Cierat says:

    Old Joyce is sounding more and more out of touch as the year wears on. :(

  4. Commuter says:

    He’s employing the old Piggy Muldoon technique so beloved of right wing idealogues of claiming a personal connection with the salt of the earth; where he might meet an ‘ordinary’ truck driver is a moot question. Muldoon would go into public and parliamentary debates and basically defenestrate the argument by saying ‘I’ve received 100s of letters from ordinary New Zealanders who are appalled by the Labour stance on [apartheid rugby tours/nuclear visits/'think big' projects/etc]‘ (delete as applicable) and trump opposition. No evidence; no logic; no real facts; just emotive rhetoric. Sadly the NZ public and its media providers just love it all so there will be no reasoned debate and Joyce’s spurious assertions will be accepted as gospel given fact.

  5. ingolfson says:

    Meh, people will get tired of him and his ilk, I hope. Including of Mr Slick. But not before they do enough damage to harm us for another generation.

  6. Bob says:

    Joyce is just like the previous National government looking after his road transport forum mates who gave i believe a nice donation to party funds before the last election.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>