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Presentation by Tim Reddish Executive Director New Zealand Taxi Federation

Presentation by Tim Reddish Executive Director New Zealand Taxi Federation. IRU 2 ND INTERNATIONAL TAXI FORUM K Ö LN (GERMANY) NOVEMBER, 2008. SUMMARY OF PRESENTATION. The New Zealand Taxi Market Structure prior to 1989 Deregulation The immediate effects The ongoing effects

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Presentation by Tim Reddish Executive Director New Zealand Taxi Federation

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  1. Presentation by Tim ReddishExecutive DirectorNew Zealand Taxi Federation IRU 2ND INTERNATIONAL TAXI FORUM KÖLN (GERMANY) NOVEMBER, 2008

  2. SUMMARY OF PRESENTATION • The New Zealand Taxi Market Structure prior to 1989 Deregulation • The immediate effects • The ongoing effects • The lobbying effort to correct • The Auditors Generals report & Legislation Changes • The New Rules, ATO Structure and Self-Regulation • Summary

  3. THE STRUCTURE PRIOR TO 1989 • Structure based on licenses, personalised to applicant. Applicants had to meet strict criteria • 3,500 taxis, mostly owner operator, with operators belonging to mainly cooperative, many owner operators employed part-time/ peak-time drivers • Cooperatives fought very hard against the supply of new licenses

  4. (Structure Prior to 1989 Cont’d) • Acute shortage of peak-time taxis, long queues on streets, transport terminals and buses • Industry resisted public and political pressure for more taxis and more competition • In the end the pressure became too much - the industry didn’t react or compromise and with a newly elected reformist Government the industry was deregulated, almost overnight - no compensation

  5. IMMEDIATE EFFECTS • Any body with appropriate drivers license could put on a taxi (had to belong to a company) • Taxis could charge what they liked provided they displayed rates schedule in vehicle • Despair and despondency • Flood of new entrants and new taxi companies (by 2005 7,500) • Returns halved • Fares dropped or remained

  6. (Immediate Effects Cont’d) • Debt levels rose with resulting failures • Lower driver and vehicle standards • Street confrontations • Dishonest practices, credit fraud, assaults on passengers, fraudulent practices in driver qualifications and bona-fides and compliance requirements • Crowding of taxis on taxi stands, illegal parking, frustrated city authorities • Regulators/compliance officials couldn’t cope

  7. ONGOING EFFECTS • Economic Changes • Tourism/visitor boom (T 439k to1.2M, V 867k to 2.36M • Drink drive laws severely tightened • Inner City living • Demand grew • Rationalisation and growth within industry

  8. (Ongoing Effects Cont’d) • Smart credit processing and computerised dispatch assisted market growth • Focus on quality and professionalism • The best grew and prospered (e.g. WCT) • Compliance activity got worse - distinctly uneven playing field, vast difference between top and bottom of market

  9. FEDERATION’S LOBBYING EFFORT • 5 years of intense effort • Politicians (all parties) • City and regional politicians • Government officials • Interest groups, disabled organisations, elderly, schools, airports, hotels • Press/ media campaign • Culminating in Auditor General

  10. AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT & LEGISLATION CHANGES • Watershed document in getting industry back under control • Report condemned regulators performance in nearly all areas of their responsibilities “Inconsistent and inadequate monitoring and enforcing of compliance by the Authority has led to widespread non-compliance. As a result, there is a risk that unfit and improper people are allowed into, and remain in, the taxi industry. The audit identified areas for improvement that are reflected in the many recommendations in this report”

  11. (Auditor General Reports … Cont’d) • 132 page report, 61 recommendations that called for improvement/changes in nearly every area, the main ones being to do with proper fit and proper person tests, proper vetting of taxi driver licensing, proper testing procedures and above all proper enforcement activity that ensured proper compliance • A few copies with me, obtainable from reports@oag.govt.nz

  12. THE NEW RULES, ATO’s & SELF-REGULATION • Operator Licensing Rule • Everything taxis must have and do: signage, fare schedules, meters, receipts, lost property • Everything operators must comply with: licensing, records etc • Everything ATO’s are responsible for: heavy emphasis under threat of heavy penalties that they maintain: dispatch records, complaints records/systems, records of their operators compliance re vehicles and legislative requirements and ATO 24/7 service responsibility • Work Time and Logbook Rule • Dedicated Taxi Enforcement team

  13. CONCLUSION • Deregulation without standards and compliance = disaster, poor quality, lack of professionalism • Quality and viability go hand in hand • Free market= even playing field = proper compliance • As a result of this numbers are shrinking, the small and non-compliant have given up- those that can’t operate honestly have been caught and left the industry Latest Survey Results • 94% rated condition of taxis as clean/very clean and reasonable/very good physical condition • 82% of passengers felt safe and secure using taxis • 78% felt drivers were professional /very professional

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