Four years after The NZTA/Waka Kotahi was slammed for not doing its job of keeping roads safe, a core unit of it has been labelled so ineffective it is being pulled apart.
The unit undergoing a restructure includes the road network safety team.
The unit’s head said in an internal report a month ago, obtained by RNZ: “Increasingly, our functions and ways of working are perceived as barriers to better regulatory outcomes.
“We have lost clarity of how we add value, why we are here, what we exist for.”
Transport industry sources question if the restructure will work, asking why it is getting rid of all of the unit’s seven engineer jobs.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has been struggling to meet its targets to make roads safer. RNZ has asked what role the network safety team played in that.
Since 2018 the agency has installed just a fifth of the median barriers due by 2024 to prevent head-on smashes on state highways, and less than a fifth of the side barriers.
The harm being done by trucks and utes on roads is the main item highlighted in WorkSafe’s explanation last year for why work fatality and harm rates are not coming down.
Waka Kotahi was ordered by the Government in 2018, after various damning inquiries, to get its act together on the regulatory front.
But the internal report says the four-team System Integrity unit has not done that.