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Shipping industry will solve Port Company Worries

28 August 2006

Revitalised NZ Shipping industry will solve Port Company Worries

Government and regional council support for a revitalised coastal shipping industry is the only answer to concern at plans by some international shipping lines to reduce calls to NZ ports, Paul Nicholas, Manager of the New Zealand Shipping Federation said today.

“Next month the Shipping Federation will present a draft maritime strategy to government calling for government promotion and investment in domestic maritime transport, and for the development of a national ports policy”, Mr Nicholas said.

“Rather than continue scrapping over the crumbs from the international shippers table, the Federation believes their withdrawal offers government, councils and the maritime industry a unique opportunity to increase domestic coastal traffic across ports, and onto coastal feeder ships”.

Mr Nicholas said the draft maritime strategy, to be discussed with government and industry sectors, will be the catalyst for port companies to use assets built for foreign shipping, to instead develop a coastal shipping industry.

“A vibrant domestic shipping industry will be a far more reliable and sustainable employer and revenue earner for our ports”, Mr Nicholas said.

“The draft maritime strategy calls for the establishment of a Maritime Promotions Unit within Land Transport New Zealand, and for government financial support to develop coastal shipping services, in the same way that government funding is allocated to the development of road and rail services”.

“Coastal shipping can remove more long haul freight off roads. Sea is also a far safer and more environmentally friendly mode of freight transport than road. Coastal shipping also has the potential to ensure the future prospects of New Zealand’s various ports” Mr Nicholas concluded.

ENDS

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