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Funding Boost Will Stimulate Coastal Links

News Release 20 May, 2008

Funding Boost Will Stimulate Coastal Links, Says Pacifica

The Government’s $36 million funding allocation for coastal shipping will assist regions with no services re-establish regular sea links, according to one operator, Pacifica Shipping.

Pacifica’s national operations manager, Steve Chapman, said major ports such as Auckland, Tauranga, Dunedin and Timaru had lost their scheduled coastal ship services five years ago.

“While overseas in-transit ships carry domestic goods between these ports, much of the cargo previously carried by local ships has reverted to land transport modes,” he said.

“This has contributed to increased road congestion, higher fuel consumption and greater carbon emissions.

“With funding support the opportunity exists for coastal ships to resume some of the previous routes and introduce new ones.”

A coastal service linking Auckland and Tauranga with Canterbury and Otago would be a strong candidate for early re-introduction, Mr Chapman said.

“A lot of long-haul freight is moved by truck and trailer and across Cook Strait between these major producer regions.

“Any new coastal services linking them directly by sea would deliver significant economic and environmental benefits.”

He said one or more new coastal ships working on the east coast of both islands would be a realistic prospect, subject to appropriate funding support.


ENDS

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