New Zealand transport minister builds bridges in California and Japan
July 8, 2015
New Zealand transport minister Simon Bridges is promoting the country as a test bed for intelligent transport systems (ITS) and new investments through a range of meetings in the USA and Japan this week.
On the first leg of his trip, Bridges is meeting major vehicle manufacturers and businesses at the cutting-edge of transport and energy technologies in Silicon Valley, California.
“I believe New Zealand has strong potential as a test-bed for new transport technologies, something I am keen to promote to the USA,” he said. “I’ll be meeting with private sector organisations involved in developing technologies to deliver emerging and disruptive services and products, like electric vehicles.”
While in Japan, Bridges intends to meet with the Japanese transport minister as well as a range of companies at the forefront of clean energy generation and transport technologies.
“I plan to explore opportunities for strategic partnerships with the Japanese government, as well as industry,” he said. “I will continue to promote New Zealand’s renewable energy advantage.”
Bridges will also use the trip as a fact-finding mission.
“It is vital the government is up to date with developments in alternative energy sources, intelligent transport systems and robotics,” he said. “Being across these developments means we can ensure New Zealand laws are fit for purpose, allowing us to take advantage of the significant safety, efficiency and environmental benefits of new technologies. I want New Zealand to be positioned to make the most of emerging transport and energy technologies while transitioning to a low-carbon economy.”
He said the government was actively amending regulation to enable beneficial technologies.
“The new rules for unmanned aerial vehicle operation, which encourage innovation and ensure safety, come into force on 1 August and are an excellent demonstration of this,” Bridges said.