Inter-regional public transport is a funding and legislative dog's breakfast in Aotearoa. The Sustainable Public Transport Framework does nothing to address this.
Great points here that hadn’t occurred to me about boundaries between councils and the forces working against inter-regional public transport.
I remember a time when there were NZ Rail Road services busses providing connections throughout NZ. I presume that a number of these services were provided social reasons. Was there a mandate prior to 1980's for NZ Rail to provide these connections?
Did the change in policies and corporations of the railways in the 1980's effectively destroy the inter- regional connectivity?
The issues about using regional boundaries for urban transport planning - it's a good lesson in what happens when policy approaches don't keep up with market changes.
In the late 1980s when these changes went in, Nelson and Richmond were part of the same region (later abolished in 1991); and, they did not then have any publicly-funded services, except for paratransit. Also, the public transport services which did cross the inter-regional boundaries were commercially viable in their own right, and there was no particular need seen for Government to purchase more services.
The problem was that (a) in time, public transport catchments grew beyond regional boundaries; and (b) it has become more and more difficult for inter-regional services to pay their way. My own view is that inter-regional services need to be funded and planned at a national level - including coach services, I should add. Local government isn't set up to do this and certainly isn't prepared to spend any money to do it.
As one of those heritage-listed older adults that was there at the time, I don't know if I agree with your suggestion that "deregulation of public transport in Aotearoa in 1991" was "disastrous". Without the change, would we have seen the re-establishment of a comprehensive urban bus service in Tauranga, or the growth of an intra-regional PT network in the Bay of Plenty in the 2000's?