Greens: Paul Swain you're killing coastal shipping
Green Party Co-leader, Rod Donald, has come out swinging at Paul Swain, the Labour Governments Minister of Transport, over the Government allowing free trade around the New Zealand coastline.
Donald, in an exclusive interview with Port Focus Asia Pacific, has slammed the Minister of Transports inability to protect NZ Coastal shippers, citing the fact that the ministers' inaction has already had a disastrous effect on the New Zealand economy with Pacifica Shipping being forced to downsize their fleet by a massive 50%.
Mr Donald went on to say that the Green Party supports the NZ Maritime Unions' call for the reinstalment of a 'cabotage' system so that New Zealand coastal shipping will be once again done by New Zealand operated and crewed ships.
The Green Party co-leader said that significant benefits to the Labour Governments current policy has cost the NZ economy dearly due to the reduction of the frequency and reliability of coastal shipping. Donald pontificated that the restoration of cabotage would increase New Zealand producers' confidence in coastal shipping's schedule reliability.
The Green Party Co-leader went on to say.. "International shippers cherry pick cargo on their way up to Auckland using up their spare capacity.they (international shippers) are not here to provide a service they just take the cream off the top of the maritime logistics industry making it extremely difficult for efficient reliable New Zealand companies such as Pacifica Shipping to maintain their regular high standard of reliable service. The affect of the Labour Minister of Transport to protect NZ based coastal shippers has had devastating consequences for NZ rail industry as well. It is very difficult for NZ logistic suppliers to compete on price as foreign shippers pay their crew sweatshop wages, do not have the cost of adhering to OSH standards pay no ACC levies or NZ tax"
Mr Donald said he had been waiting for two years for the Labour government to release their shipping review and could not understand why 'Labour was not releasing its outcome given the fact that both the U.S and Australia both have forms of cabotage'
Portfocus Editors note.
Cabotage a definition. Until 1994, shipping
between New Zealand ports was done by New Zealand crews
working on New Zealand operated ships. This system of
maintaining the domestic shipping industry is called
Cabotage and is the system used the United States of America