The Maritime Union has welcomed Green MP Sue Bradford’s strong support of Coastal Shipping in Parliament this week.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says he supports Ms Bradford’s view presented in her Statement to the Prime Minister that there needs to be some major Budget announcements to kick start the Coastal Shipping industry.
“We are confident that the new Minister of Transport Annette King appreciates the issues, and is working together with the Greens, Unions and industry to get progress on shipping, and we look forward to the concrete results as soon as possible.”
The Maritime Union fully endorses Ms Bradford’s analysis that shipping is the most environmentally friendly form of transporting goods, yet the New Zealand shipping industry has been devastated by free market policies that have only benefited transnational shipping companies.
Mr Hanson says coastal shipping is back on the agenda with the growth in awareness and concern about the environmental impact of transport.
“It is simply crazy that at a time when shipping is vitally important to our future, New Zealand shipping has been forced by bad laws in a battle for survival against global operators who control our destiny as a trading nation.”
He says New Zealand could drop the ball unless a New Zealand shipping industry is rapidly built up that can deliver goods to markets in a cost effective and environmentally low impact way.
“What we need is a complete and integrated policy that sets the future structure and long term direction of the maritime sector, including a rational co-ordinated ports policy and a shipping policy, that puts the needs of New Zealand industry and the public interest first.”