The New Zealand affiliates of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) met today to discuss their concerns with the arrival of KiwiRail’s new locomotives in the country.
The rundown of New Zealand coastal shipping is threatening New Zealand’s capability to deal with the social and economic fallout from natural disasters.
A public meeting in South Dunedin on Monday 12 July to support the campaign to build new trains for Auckland in New Zealand workshops attracted around 50 people.
Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says recent statements from Minister of Transport Stephen Joyce and retiring Pacifica Shipping Chief Executive Rod Grout on New Zealand ports and shipping show the need for immediate action in the maritime industry.
Mr Fleetwood says it is incorrect for the National Government to say they want market forces decide the future of the maritime industry, when massive taxpayer investment was directed at roads and rail.
He says that a “hands off” approach to the maritime industry means major market players would dominate the market and make decisions that could harm New Zealand’s transport infrastructure.
The Maritime Union of New Zealand is hosting a public meeting on the future of the Port of Timaru. The meeting will be held at “Robbies” (Hibernian Hotel), Latter Street, Timaru on Thursday 17 September starting at 7.30pm sharp.
All concerned local people are invited to the meeting, including port workers, unions, business, industry, farmers, and all those concerned with the future of the port.
For more information see the Port of Timaru campaign website.
The Maritime Union is asking where the Government and the Minister of Transport stands on the future of regional ports after Fonterra announced it was withdrawing from some regional ports in favour of transporting goods by long distance rail last month.
Jobs are under threat, casualization is hitting workers hard, and the viability of regional ports is under a cloud after the decision, which has created intense debate in the regions and the transport industry.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the union’s national executive met with a Fonterra representative earlier this week.