8 June 2018 - From the desk of

PUBLISHED ON 08/06/2018
8 June 2018 - From the desk of

Auckland weather never stops to amaze me. On Sunday and the Queen’s Birthday I was almost washed out of my house because of the heavy rain and the last two days, it has been sunny and bright. Hopefully, the weather stays like this when the All Blacks are playing France this weekend. I am looking forward to the match, particularly because I have tickets!

Recently I had some interesting discussions with representatives from the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC), the Ministry for Employment Relations and several business leaders. High on the agenda is keeping work places alcohol and drug free. We recently changed our drug and alcohol policy to make sure everybody with a safety critical role has a 100% chance of being tested for alcohol at least once a year (versus once every seven years). There is no doubt in my mind this is the only way forward. Everyone I spoke to has similar policies in place or would expect us to have similar policies in place. When it comes to safety, we cannot allow shortcuts. And for those who wonder… Yes, I was tested too and passed.

I also attended a TrackSafe board meeting. TrackSafe’s main responsibility is level crossing safety, which is another subject closely monitored by TAIC. With increased service frequencies and heavier road traffic, the chance of level crossing incidents is increasing too. TrackSafe as an organisation exists because we believe that railway crossings should never hurt or kill anyone. One of the problems we are encountering is determining who can be held responsible and accountable. It is not clear cut where the responsibilities of the (local) government starts and KiwiRail ends. Alternatively, where KiwiRail’s responsibility starts and ours ends. We have now decided to investigate where the gaps are, so we can effectively drive down risk by involving the right parties.

On Wednesday, I was in Melbourne. I spent half my day looking at ways to innovate within our business. This time, we focussed on bus-operations and how we can use them to pursue new lines of revenue - an interesting exercise in an area I am not particularly familiar with. The thing is, we know the public transport market will change in the next decade. The question for us is to understand how we can stay on top of things when so many new technologies become available. I believe change can be a force for the better, just make sure you are part of the process.

That said, this week High Performance/High Engagement started with two days of training and ended with two days of actual problem identification. The team consisted of three members from AT, six members from the RMTU and three members from Transdev. Initial feedback indicates everybody is working together constructively. 

Finally, we had a French Trade Delegation visiting us this week. John MacIver hosted them and presented our success story. They also visited the Control Room and Britomart station. They were well impressed and again we put Transdev on the map. Next week I will be attending the NZ Rail Conference. I am looking forward to learning more about the future of rail and will update you next week.

Ma te wa/Bye for now,


Michel Ladrak
Managing Director

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