Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Loss of NZ ship a Government ‘own-goal’

Media Release

26 November 2003

Loss of NZ ship a Government ‘own-goal’

The New Zealand Shipping Federation today said that the withdrawal of another New Zealand ship from coastal trade was a sad point of proof that the industry was in decline because of Government inaction.

The Federation’s Manager, Paul Nicholas, said the Government still had not yet acted on a Shipping Industry Review in 2000 which recommended a range of actions designed to rejuvenate the industry.

“The loss of another local ship is an own-goal for the Government.

“Foreign ships are dumping capacity on the local market, forcing prices down below the real cost.

“Dumped capacity, which doesn’t need to worry about scheduled services and local compliance costs, sets the market rate. At those rates, there is no profit in the business for local shipping operators.

“The only routes which are profitable for local operators are on the Cook Strait – which is the only place where everyone competes on an effectively level playing field. However, even on the Cook Strait routes non time sensitive cargo is lost to “transit ships” which puts the fixed costs onto the time sensitive cargoes.

“We believe that once local operators are forced out of business, foreign operators will move in and put prices back up again – just as happened on the Tasman routes,” Mr Nicholas said.

Mr Nicholas warned manufacturers and farmers who have benefited from the government subsidy on foreign ‘transit’ ships, to watch for a repeat of the Tasman experience.

“There are no longer any NZ ships on the Tasman route - and rates are gradually increasing. We predict the same will occur on the NZ coast.

“The base freight rates might currently appear low but we warn users to watch the addition and increase of other charges.

He was incredulous at the failure of the Government to take action.

“It is hard to believe that our own government is willing to let this happen.

“Bizarrely, the Government can’t even find its way to eradicating the ridiculous situation in which local shipping operators have to get permission for their ships to travel between ports.

“The only action from our legislators to date has been to increase the costs of operations for NZ companies, which has just increased the cost differences. When it comes to paying wages, taxes and other compliance costs, Government rhetoric turns out to be of no use at all.

“The solution is clear: match the rest of the world by allowing local operators to move ships between any ports, and restrict foreign shipping operators to exports and imports,” Mr Nicholas said.

He said the industry was in talks with the Government aiming to achieve this solution, but progress was frustratingly slow.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Federated Farmers: NAIT Levy Increases Must Achieve Accurate, User-friendly System
Nobody welcomes extra costs but if OSPRI is to catch-up on under investment in the NAIT platform and deliver on its workability and farmer support, levy increases are probably necessary, Federated Farmers says... More>>



Westpac: More Job Opportunities, But Growth In Workers’ Earnings Remains Subdued

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 1.2 points in the December quarter, to a level of 106.9. This was the sixth straight rise in the index since the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Michael Gordon, Acting Chief Economist for Westpac, noted that the rise in the index has largely been driven by perceptions... More>>




Statistics: Card Spending Continues To Increase As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

The busy Christmas period combined with easing COVID-19 restrictions helped to increase card spending in December 2021, Stats NZ said today... More>>

TradeMe: Job Market Ends 2021 On A High With Record Number Of Vacancies
The New Zealand job market finished 2021 on a high note, with the ball still firmly in the job hunters’ court, according to the analysis of 69,600 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs for the quarter ending 31 December (Q4)... More>>


Insurance Council of New Zealand: September South Island Windstorm Cost $36.5 M Raises 2021 Extreme Weather Claims Total To $321.6 M

Gale force winds and storms between 9 and 13 September 2021 resulted in insurers supporting communities to the tune of $36.5 m. This is a significant rise, of $16.7 m, on preliminary figures for the event and lifts the end of year total for all extreme weather events in 2021 to $321.6 m... More>>


Statistics: Building Consents Hit New Highs In November
There were a record 48,522 new homes consented in the year ended November 2021, Stats NZ said today. This was up 26 percent compared with the year ended November 2020... More>>