Ministry of Transport (New Zealand)

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Ministry of Transport
Te Manatū Waka
Agency overview
Formed1968 (1968)
JurisdictionNew Zealand
HeadquartersLevel 2, Westpac House
318 Lambton Quay,
Wellington 6011
Employees141 (2015)[1]
Annual budgetVote Transport
Total budget for 2019/20
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]

The following ministers have held the office of Minister of Transport.[5]


  United   Reform   Labour   National

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
1 Bill Veitch Bill Veitch.jpg 10 December 1928 28 May 1930 Ward
2 William Burgoyne Taverner William Burgoyne Taverner.jpg 28 May 1930 22 September 1931 Forbes
3 Gordon Coates Joseph Gordon Coates, 1931.jpg 22 September 1931 6 December 1935
4 Bob Semple Bob Semple, 1935.jpg 6 December 1935 9 December 1942 Savage
5 James O'Brien Jim O'Brien.jpg 9 December 1942 28 September 1947†
6 Fred Hackett Fred Hackett, 1958.JPG 18 October 1947 13 December 1949
7 William Goosman William Goosman.jpg 13 December 1949 12 December 1957 Holland
8 John Mathison John Mathison, 1959.jpg 12 December 1957 12 December 1960 Nash
9 John McAlpine No image.png 12 December 1957 12 December 1966 Holyoake
10 Peter Gordon No image.png 12 December 1966 8 December 1972
11 Sir Basil Arthur Sir Basil Arthur.jpg 8 December 1972 12 December 1975 Kirk
12 Colin McLachlan No image.png 12 December 1975 11 December 1981 Muldoon
13 George Gair George Gair.jpg 11 December 1981 26 July 1984
14 Richard Prebble Richard Prebble.jpg 26 July 1984 24 August 1987 Lange
15 Bill Jeffries Bill Jeffries.jpg 24 August 1987 2 November 1990
16 Rob Storey No image.png 2 November 1990 29 November 1993 Bolger
17 Maurice Williamson Maurice Williamson at the NZ Open Source Awards, 2007.jpg 29 November 1993 16 December 1996
18 Jenny Shipley Jenny Shipley 2013 (crop).jpg 16 December 1996 8 December 1997
(17) Maurice Williamson Maurice Williamson at the NZ Open Source Awards, 2007.jpg 8 December 1997 10 December 1999 Shipley
19 Mark Gosche Mark Gosche.jpg 10 December 1999 27 July 2002 Clark
20 Paul Swain Paul Swain (cropped).jpg 27 July 2002 26 February 2004
21 Pete Hodgson Pete Hodgson XMediaLab 2008.jpg 26 February 2004 19 October 2005
22 David Parker David Parker NZ.jpg 19 October 2005 21 March 2006
23 Annette King Annette King at Onslow Kindergarten.jpg 21 March 2006 8 November 2008
24 Steven Joyce Steven Joyce crop.jpg 8 November 2008 12 December 2011 Key
25 Gerry Brownlee Gerry Brownlee 2014-11-24.jpg 12 December 2011 6 October 2014
26 Simon Bridges Simon-Bridges-Free-Crop.jpg 6 October 2014 26 October 2017
27 Phil Twyford Phil Twyford crop.jpg 26 October 2017 present Ardern

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2014/15". Ministry of Transport. 15 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Total Appropriations for Each Vote". Budget 2019. 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.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 80–97.

External links[edit]