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Whose Views Did Shipping Review Represent?

Whose Views Did The Shipping Industry Review Represent?

Questions need to be asked about the independence of the Shipping Industry Review team following revelations that fees for three of its members were paid to the organisations they work for, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

"The New Zealand Seafarers Union, New Zealand Dairy Board and Pacifica Shipping Limited were financial beneficiaries of the Shipping Industry Review.

"The Minister advises that the members of the Shipping Industry Review team were appointed as individuals with expert knowledge of the shipping industry rather than as representatives of particular organisations or bodies. Yet the fees for the expert knowledge were paid to their respective organisations, rather than the individuals themselves.

"So whose views were they representing during their deliberations on the Shipping Industry Review; their own as 'individuals with expert knowledge' or the vested interests of their organisations? You don't have to read too far down the recommendations to see various vested interests being promulgated through the report.

"The $179,000 review was a sham from the moment it was established. The disclosure over who was actually paid merely confirms that.

"The Government has carried on the charade by setting up a high powered Ministerial Committee to consider the policy response to the recommendations. Yet the Minister has shown he is not taking the recommendations seriously - as he has failed to refer the main recommendation relating to a tonnage tax to the McLeod Tax Review which is due to release its first 'issues' paper on 20 June. The Ministerial Committee considering the Shipping Industry Review is not planning to decide its position until the end of August.

"The review has been a case of going through the motions, making it a waste of time and money," Belinda Vernon said.

Ends


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