Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Resolving the crisis in New Zealand shipping

Resolving the crisis in New Zealand shipping
By Trevor Hanson
General Secretary, Maritime Union of New Zealand

In a recent interview with Port Focus, Green Party co-leader Rod Donald laid the blame for the demise of the New Zealand coastal shipping industry at the door of Transport Minister Paul Swain.

This is incorrect.

The blame belongs to the free market approach of the previous National Government.

In 1994, driven by now newly resurrected National MP Maurice Williamson, the Maritime Transport Bill was introduced that repealed the Shipping and Seamen¹s Act.

Through Section 198 of the Maritime Transport Bill, the then National Government opened the New Zealand coast to foreign flag shipping.

Since then, the New Zealand shipping industry has steadily declined to a point of crisis.

In addition, it is impossible to estimate the extent to which New Zealand¹s coastal environment has been affected by these changes.

Mr Donald¹s comments seem strange in the light of the Green Party "Partnership" with the Labour led Government in their New Zealand Transport Strategy.

The Maritime Union has been critical of the strategy document in its lack of specific comment and direction on the Maritime Industry.

But we fully support the fundamental approach of the Strategy in "creating a transport system that is affordable, INTEGRATED safe and responsive to our needs."

Any integrated transport system will include a robust coastal shipping industry as a basic part of our transport infrastructure.

The Maritime Union also warns the Government that the Transport Strategy must fail if the New Zealand maritime industry fails.

New Zealand is now dependant on foreign shipping in the domestic Tasman trade with one of our biggest trading partners.

The same situation is rapidly coming to pass in our internal transport industry, and particularly the coastal domestic trade.

Mr Donald¹s support for the Maritime Union¹s call for "a cabotage system" is a correct position and consistent we believe with the Partnership Transport Strategy.

What form cabotage might take and how it is structured is the difficult part ­ getting the Genie back into the bottle is always like that, it often doesn¹t fit in the way it came out.

The Maritime Union believes that the Government and the Transport Minister knows this. It is an urgent issue and a resolution needs to be reached soon.

The present Government has been slow to react to industry concerns and a Report from their own Shipping Industry Review, but it cannot be said they are to blame for the current situation.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news