Government should stick to its knitting around supply chain – Transporting NZ

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 17, 2022

The Government is right to examine New Zealand’s tenuous supply chain, but it should not seek to intervene in it beyond being a regulator and infrastructure provider, says Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

The Ministry of Transport has recently consulted on New Zealand’s freight and supply chain issues, with Transporting New Zealand providing detailed feedback on behalf of the trucking industry.

“There’s a real risk that Government will try and fiddle with the supply chain, which is essentially an instrument of the market,” said Transporting New Zealand chief executive Nick Leggett.

“The Government must use light touch regulation and should instead focus on investment in big infrastructure to facilitate better transport links.” Transporting New Zealand said it supported the Government’s approach to taking a longer-term view of the supply chain, particularly with regard to decarbonisation of the transport sector.

“Better, safer roads allow more efficient driving, faster travel times and they reduce congestion. These factors all assist in reducing emissions and are why we are calling on the Government to commit to new roading projects urgently,” Leggett said.

Ninety-three percent of freight is transported on the road, so more investment in roading maintenance is vital.

“The road transport industry would also not be opposed to investment in such projects as a dry dock that would reduce the time our ships have to be away in Australia for maintenance,” he said.

“We also support co-operation around an offshore freight shipping hub to handle major freight coming into the country, which would pave the way for the greater use of coastal shipping, therefore reducing some reliance on linehaul road transport.”

Leggett said such a hub would also reduce the country’s reliance on international shipping lines who may choose not to call in New Zealand.

“As the report reveals, we are only four percent of the global shipping market and are at the end of the chain,” he said.

“That represents real risk to New Zealand and is where the Government should be concentrating its efforts.”