The National Code of Practice for Utility Operators' Access to Transport Corridors (the Code) is now a legislated requirement under the Utilities Access Act 2010. The Code applies to the activities of all transport corridor managers and utility operators throughout New Zealand. The Code also recognises that the ability of utilities to get in and out of the corridor as efficiently as possible to install, maintain and upgrade network infrastructure is critical to New Zealand's economy and community quality of life.
The Code was developed as an industry-lead initiative to define the roles of the various stakeholders in the management of access to the transport corridors (road and rail) by utility operators. Representatives of all utilities, local authorities, the NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail have collaboratively developed the Code and it underwent several rounds of consultation before being approved by the Government as a deemed regulation. The NZ Utilities Advisory Group (NZUAG) Incorporated is the guardian of the Code and they are responsible for the administration and effective implementation of the Code.
The Code provides a nationally consistent and cooperative framework for corridor managers and utility operators, to manage transport corridors while also providing for the access rights of utility operators. The Code enables access by utility operators to transport corridors to be managed in a way that -
- maximises the benefit to the public while ensuring that all utility operators are treated fairly and reasonably
- ensures that disruptions to transport corridors and utility services caused by work by another party are kept to a minimum, while maintaining safety
- provides a nationally consistent approach to managing access to transport corridors; and
- provides for corridor managers to place reasonable conditions on utility operators by agreement, balancing perceived risks of the activities with costs collectively.
Specifically the code recognises that transport corridors are utility corridors and there is no primacy of one utility over another. The beneficiaries of this pragmatic approach are the same community and businesses which the transport corridors and utility operators share as customers.
The Code requires corridor mangers to coordinate the work of the various utilities within their districts, including their own, in a way which ensures the best outcomes for all New Zealanders in terms of the performance and longevity of the utility services and the transport corridor.
A revised version of the Code was approved on 19 August 2015 and came into force on 10 September 2015.