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Shipping plan gets thumbs up from Maritime Union

Maritime Union of New Zealand media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday 20 May 2008

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the release today of the final domestic shipping strategy "Sea Change" is a positive move for New Zealand shipping.

Maritime Union Vice President Garry Parsloe says the Government's plans for coastal shipping are moving in the right direction.

He says $36 million of funding for developing coastal shipping over the next four years was a major boost.

"The Maritime Union wants to see some of this funding put towards the training of young New Zealanders for careers in the maritime industry, which is the only real solution to skills shortages."

Mr Parsloe says other positives are the stated goal for 30% of all inter-regional domestic freight by 2040 to be moved by coastal shipping, and the potential for major hub ports served by regional feeder ports.

"This will have major economic and environmental benefits for New Zealand."

He says the Union is happy with the Government's announcement it will be clarifying Section 198 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 which deals with the movement of coastal cargo by international vessels between domestic ports.

Mr Parsloe says this could offer a potential boost for New Zealand owned coastal shipping.

He says shipping is poised for a major comeback in transport and the Sea Change strategy showed a proactive approach by the Government to developing the maritime industry of the future.

ENDS

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