The Maritime Union says the Government’s announcement today of major investment in rail is a positive move, and is urging more action on coastal shipping.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the Government’s approach of long-term investment was the correct one and showed vision for the future.
“For decades, transport policy has been dominated by short-term thinking and vested interests. We now have an opportunity to move towards an efficient, integrated multi-modal transport system for the 21st century.”
The integration of different transport modes around New Zealand ports was an urgent requirement.
Mr Harrison says the benefits of a low carbon footprint and supply chain resilience are strong factors in favour of coastal shipping.
He says revitalised coastal shipping on the ‘blue highway’ would complement rail and road, linking regional ports with international cargo hubs.
“Coastal shipping is the missing part of the jigsaw in our transport mix.”
Mr Harrison says the Government has committed to rebuilding New Zealand coastal shipping, and it needed to keep up the momentum by acting soon.
Key reforms required were changing the Maritime Transport Act to provide a level playing field for New Zealand shipping against global operators, and training and development for a maritime workforce.