No relief in sight for transport sector – NRC

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 13, 2022

With fuel prices at an all-time high, staff shortages and the end of the Government’s road user charges relief scheme in sight, there seems to be no relief in sight for the road transport industry, according to National Road Carriers.

“Fuel has gone from about $1.50 per litre to around $3.00 per litre since July 2021. Now is not the time for the Government to ease back on RUC relief,” said COO James Smith.

“And it’s not just fuel – costs across the board have had their biggest increases in years. These costs have to be passed on. Consumers will have to pay, adding to stretched household budgets squeezed by a steady stream of cost-of-living increases,” he said.

“All the major business groups are saying lack of staff is one of our biggest issues. NRC and the New Zealand Trucking Association are certainly hearing that from our combined 3000 road transport operator members”

Smith said it is getting harder and harder to find staff.

“We are heading into another wave of Covid infections on top of influenza infections and are experiencing very high rates of absenteeism that are slowing down the supply chain,” he said.

Smith said instead of addressing the issues at hand the Government is fixated on restructuring health, education, local government, water, and broadcasting.

“We are facing enormous challenges but there doesn’t seem to be any realisation in Government that these challenges exist – or a willingness to listen to people who are facing these challenges about the urgent need to address them.”