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


Road Transport Ramps Up To Provide Essential Service

The road transport industry is ramping up to ensure the continued smooth delivery of essential supplies including food and grocery to supermarkets and medicines to hospitals and medical centres during the Covid-19 lockdown says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) chief executive David Aitken.

“To support this we are creating a database of drivers who are not working but available to stand in for drivers who become ill, or drivers who choose not to work during the pandemic because they are at greater risk, such as older drivers.”

Mr Aitken said the database of drivers will mean NRC’s member base throughout New Zealand will be more easily able to access relief drivers to ensure essential supplies are available during the Government’s four-week lockdown.

NRC had already helped overcome a driver shortage last week when it put out a call to members for trucks and drivers available to assist a member who needed extra capacity to keep up with supermarket demand.

“We had a very good response and have now covered this requirement but our database will be available to other road transport operators who are short of drivers.”

“On behalf of the road transport industry we want to reassure New Zealanders that road transport companies will keep operating as Covid-19 moves through its phases.”

To comply with the Government’s shutdown announcement yesterday, Mr Aitken said the NRC office itself would, over the next 48 hours, be moving to a virtual operation working remotely.

“We will work by phone, email and Zoom to continue to support our members, so they can focus on the stability of their businesses and the wellbeing of their staff and families.”

The Ministry of Transport this morning released a list of essential transport services which, for delivery of freight by land, includes:

  • Workers and operators involved in the delivery of road and rail freight e.g.
  • Road and Rail Freight Operators and Receivers
  • Drivers, including large trucks and trains, grocery distribution (e.g. supermarkets and My Food Bag)
  • Logistics firms and their contractors
  • Courier services and NZ Post

See full list at

Mr Aitken said the key message for New Zealanders is to stay calm when it comes to supplies because:

  • New Zealand transport companies are resilient and have responded quickly and responsibly to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. They are well-run by capable businesspeople and managers and staffed with experienced drivers.
  • The road transport sector stood up and shone during previous crises, like the Kaikoura, Christchurch earthquakes, to ensure communities get essential supplies.
  • We are confident the Government and banks recognise the road transport sector is an essential industry and will provide any support our businesses need to keep operating in order to keep supplies moving.
  • China and Italy have shown that essential goods can continue to be delivered even in the worst affected areas.
  • We expect the supply chain (road, rail, sea and air) will continue to function, and keep stocks supplied.

Mr Aitken said the Wuhan experience, where the Chinese city first affected by the disease is now starting to lift restrictions and slowly return to normal, indicates the Covid-19 epidemic will pass in due course and maintaining transport services is essential to help with the recovery.

“No one knows how long the Covid-19 epidemic will last or where it will lead. We are told it will pass at some stage, hopefully sooner rather than later,” said Mr Aitken.

“The trucking industry will play a vital role in delivering essential supplies for New Zealanders as the pandemic progresses through the expected phases and as business and social life returns to normal.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>