Part 1: Introduction

Transport sector: Results of the 2011/12 audits.

The Government's objective for transport is for an effective, efficient, safe, secure, accessible, and resilient transport network that supports the growth of our economy, to deliver greater prosperity, security, and opportunities for all New Zealanders.

The priorities for transport are:

  • investment in infrastructure;
  • better quality regulation;
  • a safe transport system; and
  • opening markets.1

Alongside those priorities, the transport system also needs to be able to respond to other issues, including the Government's drive for better public services, and unforeseen circumstances such as the Canterbury earthquakes or the MV Rena grounding.

The annual and permanent appropriations for Vote Transport for 2012/13 total $3.8 billion.2 The Vote also includes two multi-year appropriations that total $152.6 million for 2012/13.3 Local authorities provide revenue for transport through rates and charges, and Crown entities receive fees and charges for the services they provide. Part 2 contains further information about funding for the transport sector.

The main value we add to the transport sector is through our annual audits, which provide independent, professional assurance of the quality of transport entities' public reporting. We provide assurance about financial and service performance information by stating whether that information, in our opinion, fairly reflects the entities' performance. If the information fairly reflects performance, then that allows Parliament and the public to evaluate it and should allow them to be confident about decision-making.

The purpose of this report is to inform Parliament and the public about the results of our 2011/12 annual audits of transport entities in the public sector and the transport-related information contained in local authorities' 2011/12 annual reports and 2012-22 long-term plans.

In addition to our annual and long-term plan audit work, we work with transport entities to help them to improve service performance reporting information and, from time to time, we carry out performance audits and inquiries on aspects of their business.

Recent performance audits have included looking at how ONTRACK (now the New Zealand Railways Corporation, trading as KiwiRail) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) maintain and renew the rail and state highway networks, and follow-up audits that looked at the certification and surveillance functions of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA).

During 2011/12, we started work to look at the introduction of integrated ticketing into Auckland's public transport network. However, this work is on hold pending resolution of a dispute between some of the parties involved in integrated ticketing.

Part 2 contains a brief overview of the transport sector and the nature and extent of our work in the sector.

In Part 3, we provide information about the results of our audit work on the central government transport entities. This includes information about our audit reports on the financial statements and other information (such as service performance information), our assessment of how effective the systems and controls used to manage operations are, and the significant matters that annual audits have raised.

In Part 4, we report the results of our analysis of transport-related information included in local authorities' 2011/12 annual reports.

In Part 5, we report the results of our analysis of the transport-related information included in local authorities' 2012-22 long-term plans.

In line with our plan to do more sector-specific reporting, we plan to write a transport sector report every two to three years, depending on other priorities.

We are also preparing a multi-year work programme that will signal our likely work on central and local government during the next five years. Our first integrated multi-year work programme is likely to be in place for 2014/15 and will include the transport topics that we are likely to focus on.

1: Ministry of Transport, Statement of Intent 2012-15, page 1.

2: The Estimates of Appropriations 2012/13, page 283.

3: The Estimates of Appropriations 2012/13, page 284.

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