Transporting New Zealand calls for urgent business and wages support

In News1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 17, 2023

Transporting New Zealand, the peak body representing the road transport industry, is calling on the government to urgently stand up a business and wage support package to support those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“As only the third national state of emergency in our history, we consider that the severity of this event warrants an immediate and significant programme of support from central government,” said Transporting New Zealand CEO Nick Leggett.

“A comprehensive business and wages support package for the affected areas of the North Island, modelled after the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy, would provide urgently required support to businesses and their employees.”

Transporting New Zealand has already heard from affected trucking companies that lack of cashflow is having a significant impact on their operations. Many road freight companies (the majority of which have fewer than five trucks and operate on low margins) may already be struggling to pay wages, repair and replace vehicles and premises, and meet other fixed business expenses.

Leggett said that a business and wages support package would also boost the speed and resilience of the Cyclone Gabrielle recovery. “If transport and other essential businesses can’t operate, there will be serious impacts on freight movement and national supply chains, at a time when we can least afford it. A comprehensive support package must be introduced without delay.”