Lack of plan for maritime industry a serious problem

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.

Read more

Maritime Union highlights negative effects of Fonterra port pull out

The Maritime Union says regional ports have been hit hard because of a decision by Fonterra to rail goods to distant ports.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the moves have already led to notices of major redundancies in the port of Timaru, greater casualization of the workforce, and was threatening the viability of some ports.

“This issue cannot be dealt with by ports continuing to compete each other into the ground. It must be addressed by national co-ordination of our transport system, not the wasteful, insecure and chaotic mess we have at the moment.”

Read more

Roading the wrong focus for New Zealand infrastructure

New Zealand’s two leading transport unions say that pouring public money only into roading and ignoring other transport infrastructure is a mistake.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand, representing seafarers and waterfront workers,and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, representing rail and port workers, are concerned that economic stimulus plans focus transport investment exclusively on roading.

The transport unions say that while the Government is correct in investing in infrastructure as a stimulus for the economy, it’s sole focus on investing in roads is wrong.

Read more