I am writing this whilst I have sneaked out of a series of meetings with Auckland Transport and KiwiRail to discuss the future of our railway network, something that kept me locked away for three days this week, while Michel is in Melbourne for a series of meetings.
Last week was a busy week. We played host to our guests from Transdev Paris and Australasia, who attended the Advanced Contract Review held here at TDAK. The two-day session was very successful. Our guests were really impressed by our standards, how well we are organised and how we deliver for our customers and our client, Auckland Transport. In support of our business, different areas were identified in which we can utilise Transdev’s international experience to prepare us for a successful long term future in Auckland.
On Friday we experienced an extraordinary chain of issues on the network. It was probably one of the most challenging days I have experienced since arriving 16 months ago. My heart goes out to our colleagues who were directly involved and impacted by the events. We faced some serious challenges and I am very proud of how everyone pulled together to keep the network running and serve our customers the best we could given the circumstances. Thank you!
You will have noticed a peculiar question mark circulating through Book-Ons. ‘Quentin the Question Mark’ has been travelling across Transdev Australasia issuing conversation challenges as part of the mental awareness campaign, R U OK? 2019. It was great fun when Quentin visited Head Office, and I encourage you to participate in the wellbeing challenges. It is something that I wholeheartedly support given the important issues that seldom receive the attention they need.
You might be aware TDAK was featured in the media last week regarding the collective agreement negotiations. I believe all parties want to see a fair deal for all. Continuous conversation is the way forward and I sincerely hope most of our colleagues will do everything they can to avoid our customers being impacted by the process. It is great to see the majority of our people on the network continuing to focus on the task ahead.
I felt privileged to be part of a group that has seen first hand the updates to the CRL construction zone next to the Britomart Station. The tunnel has taken shape! The CRL team shared how impressed they are with the way their Transdev colleagues handle any potential disruption from the work they are doing - disruptions they try to minimise as best they can. The engineering expertise is truly impressive and to know Transdev takes part in developing and potentially operating New Zealand’s first underground rail service is very exciting for all of us.
Finally, wishing you a pleasant and relatively quiet week. Thank you to everyone involved in the special events this weekend. I’m heading back into the room with our partners, to help build a case to secure the funding needed to make the network infrastructure ready for the future. I hope to see you all when I have been released again and able to travel around the network to see everyone.
Peter Lensink, Chief Operating Officer