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Investment in coastal shipping welcomed


MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate release

21May 2008


Investment in coastal shipping welcomed


The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation (CBAFF) has welcomed Transport Minister Annette King’s announcement of $36 million funding to help revitalise coastal shipping in New Zealand.

CBAFF President Willie van Heusden said the renewed focus on coastal shipping brought about by the Sea Change Strategy would help bring the ‘poor relation’ of New Zealand transport in from the cold.

“Coastal shipping has enormous potential to ease the strain on the country’s overburdened road and rail system,” he said.

“Shipping is the most fuel efficient way to move freight. Coastal vessels can be up to eight times more efficient than trucks but, despite this, coastal shipping has lacked the visibility of other forms of transport.

“The renewed focus and support brought about by Sea Change is very positive but integrated planning will be vital if in order to make the most of this opportunity

“This should include ensuring all necessary intermodal links are in place, including improving rail links to ports by extending track and improving access, to help provide customers with real value in terms of reliability as well as sustainability.”

Mr van Heusden said that Government support, earmarked for coastal shipping over the next four years, would also be vital in helping New Zealand’s smaller ports to adapt to coastal rather than international shipping needs.

“By world standards, New Zealand still has too many small ports vying for international visitors. The reality is that in future smaller ports may have to accept that it is more viable for them to be part of a domestic coastal shipping network.”


Mr van Heusden said the initiative would also play a major role in international perceptions of New Zealand in relation to issues raised by climate change, the carbon footprint and the food miles debate.

“As the Prime Minister has previously observed, the answer to food miles critics is to demonstrate that New Zealand has a sustainable economy. Coastal shipping can certainly do that.”


ENDS

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