Ministry of Transport (New Zealand)

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Ministry of Transport
Te Manatū Waka
Agency overview
Formed 1968 (1968)
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Level 6,
89 The Terrace,
Wellington 6140
Employees 141 (2015)[1]
Annual budget Vote Transport
Total budget for 2016/17
Ministers responsible
Agency executive
  • Peter Mersi
    Chief Executive

The Ministry of Transport (Māori: Te Manatū Waka) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the government on transport policy.


The Ministry was established in 1968 with a merger of the then Transport Department and the Civil Aviation Department. In the 1970s, the roles of the Ministry included traffic enforcement, air traffic control, weather forecasting, air accident investigation and lighthouses. Many of these functions were divested to other government organisations over the period from 1988 to 2004.[3]

The Ministry of Transport was formerly responsible for enforcement of traffic laws before their division of traffic officers was merged into the same organisation as the police in 1992.[4]

Government transport sector[edit]

The transport sector includes four Crown entities and three State-owned enterprises:

Crown Entities

State-Owned Enterprises

They are responsible for day-to-day hands-on management of daily traffic, aviation, rail and maritime activities. Their roles and the composition of their boards are defined in legislation.

The Ministry negotiates an annual performance agreement with each entity on behalf of the Minister, monitors the entities' performance against that agreement, and recommends appointments to the entities' governing bodies.

The Ministry provides policy advice to the Minister, in collaboration with the Crown entities, including the making of transport rules. As well, the Ministry negotiates on behalf of New Zealand, bilateral and multilateral air services agreements and is the licensing authority for foreign international airlines operating services to and from New Zealand.


The Ministry also:

  • administers, on behalf of the Minister, the contract with the Meteorological Service of New Zealand (Metservice) for the provision of public weather warnings and forecasts
  • manages the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR) and revenue collection functions which includes the collection and refund of motor vehicle registration and licensing fees, road user charges and fuel excise duty, and the maintenance of the MVR. The New Zealand Transport Agency is contracted to provide these services under an agreement with the Secretary for Transport.
  • has responsibility for the operation of the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi Airport, and oversees the Crown's interest in joint venture airports
  • administers transport legislation, rules and regulations
  • represents New Zealand at international fora
  • licenses all international airlines operating to and from New Zealand

The Ministry does not have a hands-on-role in daily traffic, aviation, rail or maritime matters.

Ministers of Transport[edit]

Name Took office Left office Party
1 Peter Gordon 1968 1972 National
2 Basil Arthur 1972 1975 Labour
3 Colin McLachlan 1975 1981 National
4 George Gair 1981 1984 National
5 Richard Prebble 1984 1987 Labour
6 Bill Jeffries 1987 1990 Labour
7 Rob Storey 1990 1993 National
8 Maurice Williamson 1993 1996 National
9 Jenny Shipley 1996 1997 National
(8) Maurice Williamson 1997 1999 National
10 Mark Gosche 1999 2002 Labour
11 Paul Swain 2002 2004 Labour
12 Pete Hodgson 2004 2005 Labour
13 David Parker 2005 2006 Labour
14 Annette King 2006 2008 Labour
15 Steven Joyce 2008 2011 National
16 Gerry Brownlee 2011 2014 National
17 Simon Bridges 2014 Incumbent National

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2014/15". Ministry of Transport. 15 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Total Appropriations for Each Vote". 2016 Budget. The Treasury. 
  3. ^ "History of the Ministry". Ministry of Transport. 4 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Councils keen to police roads". The New Zealand Herald. 22 May 2002. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 

External links[edit]