Truck driving losing its appeal, survey reports

A trucking survey is pointing to low pay, long hours and driver monitoring as reasons why some drivers are leaving the industry.

First Union has carried out its In It For The Long-Haul survey involving 384 truck drivers, union and non-union employees and contractors.

The survey was conducted by person-to-person interviews at locations throughout New Zealand. Results reveal an ageing workforce and a number of drivers who say the job isn’t attractive as it once was.

The survey reveals that 2.9% of drivers are younger than 25 and 73.5% are 45 or older. This is consistent with international trends pointing towards a growing shortage of truck drivers.

First Union divisional secretary Jared Abbott says the results confirm pay, hours and the intensification of driver scrutiny are the reasons people are leaving the industry.

“So many of our sectors rely on truck drivers to keep businesses running, so many of the products and services we use and consume everyday have been delivered by a truck, this needs to be a wakeup call.

When asked why they were leaving the industry, pay, long hours and driver monitoring were the most mentioned reasons (pay 80.4%, long hours, 51.7%, driver monitoring, 41.9%).

Abbott says that truck driving is becoming less appealing and the reasons for this need to be addressed.

“More importantly, we have been warning about the industry becoming less appealing due to pay packets that seem to be stuck in neutral and invasive in cab cameras.

“Pay is not what it used to be and drivers are under more pressure to work even longer hours to make up for the inadequate pay.

“Further, we really need to ask whether driver facing cameras are having a positive effect on health and safety at all. With increased anxiety amongst drivers adding to fatigue and experienced drivers leaving the industry, how can this be positive?”

NZTA release new heavy vehicle standards

The NZ Transport Agency has released new performance based standards (PBS) for non-standard heavy vehicles to meet the safety performance requirements equivalent to standard vehicles.

The safety performance requirements for a standard heavy vehicle are contained in the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Rule 2016 (VDAM).

However, alternative heavy vehicle combinations such as high productivity motor vehicles have to be carefully designed to make sure they meet the principle set by the VDAM rule – that they are as safe as a standard vehicle.

PBS are used to assess whether a non-standard heavy vehicle will be safe to operate on the road.

Safety is primarily determined by how the vehicle fits on the road and its ability to take avoidance manoeuvres at speed without losing control.

Previously, PBS were largely based on standards developed overseas. The new PBS are better suited to New Zealand’s more frequently narrow and winding roads.

NZTA regulatory general manager Kane Patena says the new PBS encourage better design and safer performance on the network.

“In particular they’ll exhibit improved tracking within a lane on tight curves and allow productivity improvements such as being able to simultaneously cart a 20 and 40-foot ISO container. The new PBS will enhance safety while maintaining, or even improving, productivity.

“The new PBS provide a transparent and consistent process for assessing non-standard heavy vehicles. They’ll provide certainty to the industry on what truck configurations they can put on the road, particularly for the new high productivity motor vehicle fleet.”

The new PBS were developed in consultation with industry representatives. The standards were internationally peer reviewed and extensive computer modelling was undertaken, which was then validated by practical on-road trials.

*The new PBS are available here.

Largest ship to ever visit Timaru

27/5/19

A monstrous container ship’s brief visit to Timaru was a test run that could result in other ships of a similar size using the port.

The Rio de Janeiro, which docked about 11pm on Sunday and left at 9.40am Monday for Dunedin, is the largest vessel to ever enter at the port, being 286.5 metres long, 40m wide and capable of carrying nearly 6000 containers.

PrimePort chief executive Phil Melhopt said the Rio’s berthing in Timaru was a significant first step in an approval process for the bigger ships.

Port of Timaru tugs pull the giant Rio de Janeiro container ship away from the wharf for its departure.
JOHN BISSET/STUFFPort of Timaru tugs pull the giant Rio de Janeiro container ship away from the wharf for its departure.

“This will give us the option commercially to welcome vessels of similar size specifically to berth in Timaru.”

Melhopt said that while he had not received a formal debrief from the harbourmaster, there had been no issues with the ship’s arrival, docking and stay in Timaru.

The giant container ship, Rio de Janeiro, prepares to leave the Port of Timaru.
JOHN BISSET/STUFFThe giant container ship, Rio de Janeiro, prepares to leave the Port of Timaru.

“It is too early to say, but this is part of a trial which the Canterbury harbourmaster is overseeing.”

He said once approved, the berthing of larger sized vessels would give the port a greater flexibility in its operations. 

“This will prove to be another feather in our cap.”

Onlookers watch the Rio de Janeiro container ship arrive in the Port of Timaru.
1 OF 11JOHN BISSET/STUFFOnlookers watch the Rio de Janeiro container ship arrive in the Port of Timaru.

Melhopt agreed that last year’s $2.5 million project to widen the port’s inner breakwater entrance from 90m to 140m to allow for easier access for bigger vessels had played a significant role in getting the Rio de Janeiro in port, along with the $8m purchase of the new tug Hinewai which almost doubles the size of the vessels it can manoeuvre. The breakwater project, which removed a rock wall and dug out the approach at the entrance of the harbour, ended early in 2019.

“We acknowledge the hard work that was put in by the port’s crew and staff in making this happen,” Melhopt said.

When fully laden, the Rio de Janeiro weighs around 80,000 tonnes and manoeuvring the vessel into the port required the work of three tugs, the Aoraki, Te Mariu and the Hinewai.

Sunrise over the Port of Timaru sheds light on the Rio de Janeiro container ship, the largest vessel to ever berth in the port.
JOHN BISSET/STUFFSunrise over the Port of Timaru sheds light on the Rio de Janeiro container ship, the largest vessel to ever berth in the port.

The Singapore–flagged ship was the biggest ever container ship to visit the Port of Lyttelton and Port Chalmers (Dunedin) in October 2018.

The Rio was a new class of ship in 2018 that carried about 1000 to 1500 more containers than its predecessors.

The ship’s colours are that of Hamburg Sud, the shipping line that Maersk bought in 2018.

The Rio De Janeiro arrives under darkness into the Port of Timaru.
JOHN BISSET/STUFFThe Rio De Janeiro arrives under darkness into the Port of Timaru.

The Rio de Janeiro, which docked about 11pm on Sunday and left at 9.40am Monday for Dunedin, is the largest vessel to ever enter at the port, being 286.5 metres long, 40m wide and capable of carrying nearly 6000 containers.

PrimePort chief executive Phil Melhopt said the Rio’s berthing in Timaru was a significant first step in an approval process for the bigger ships.

Melhopt said that while he had not received a formal debrief from the harbourmaster, there had been no issues with the ship’s arrival, docking and stay in Timaru.

He said once approved, the berthing of larger sized vessels would give the port a greater flexibility in its operations.

“This will prove to be another feather in our cap.”

“We acknowledge the hard work that was put in by the port’s crew and staff in making this happen,” Melhopt said.

When fully laden, the Rio de Janeiro weighs around 80,000 tonnes and manoeuvring the vessel into the port required the work of three tugs, the Aoraki, Te Mariu and the Hinewai.

The Rio was a new class of ship in 2018 that carried about 1000 to 1500 more containers than its predecessors.

The ship’s colours are that of Hamburg Sud, the shipping line that Maersk bought in 2018.

Wild weather hits the south with 120kmh wind gusts and heavy rain

South Port and Bluff harbour during gale force winds on Wednesday where shipping containers have been blown into the water.
JOHN HAWKINSSouth Port and Bluff harbour during gale force winds on Wednesday where shipping containers have been blown into the water.

Shipping containers have been blown into the Bluff harbour as severe weather hits Southland.

A stevedore said several 40ft containers, which were in a stack of five high, had blown over, some falling into the water.

It is believed about 10 were in the water.

It's another rainy day in Invercargill.
KAVINDA HERATHIt’s another rainy day in Invercargill.

The containers were empty and tug boats in the water were out securing them.

“It’s very rare.”

The stevedore expected the containers to eventually sink and then be pulled out by a crane.

South Port chief executive Nigel Gear said the “current situation is that, due to particularly strong winds, some containers have been dislodged from the stack and have landed both in the yard and also into the berth area”.

“The container terminal therefore has been closed down for safety reasons (standard practice) and we are currently working through the process of securing the containers that have fallen into the berth.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, especially the wind conditions, over the next 24 hours.”

Up the road, Invercargill is the windiest place in the country at the moment, being hit by forceful 120kmh westerly wind gusts and persistent rain.

There are power outages throughout the region with some businesses closing early because of no power. 

Air New Zealand flights both arriving and departing the city had been delayed. 

Severe weather warnings and watches have been issued for severe westerly quarter gales with the Canterbury High Country and coastal Clutha, Southland and Stewart Island most at risk.

Metservice data showed just over 4mm of rain had fallen in Invercargill so far on Wednesday.

Fourteen millimetres of rain was forecast for the day.

Wind watches and warnings are expected to ease on Wednesday night. However, the strong winds were forecast to continue, not dropping below 30kmh until 6pm Thursday.

Metservice forecast 22mm of rain to fall on Thursday as well.

Several places throughout the country recorded gusts over 100kmh on Tuesday.

Stewart Island saw the biggest gust with 148kmh, while Castlepoint saw 119kmh. Both Remutaka Hill near Wellington and Swampy Summit near Dunedin saw gusts of 113kmh.

A road snowfall warning has been issued for the Crown Range Rd and the Milford Rd. 

Snow showers are expected to affect higher parts of the Crown Range Rd between midday and 6pm on Thursday, when 1cm or less of snow may settle on
the road above 900 metres. 

Snow showers were expected to affect the summit of the Milford Road between 10pm on Wednesday and 6am on Thursday, when 1 or 2cm of snow may settle. 

Why NZ is cheating on its emissions from flights, shipping and imported goods

Schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg blasted the UK for “very creative carbon accounting” because it doesn’t count emissions from global flights or shipping.

And New Zealand is also excluding international aviation and navigation (shipping) from its carbon budgets.

Environmental groups say that is breaching the landmark Paris Agreement, signed four years ago.

But Climate Minister James Shaw has defended the practice, arguing the emissions are monitored under two separate international agreements.

Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.
GETTY IMAGESSwedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

Stuff asked the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) for emissions for aviation and shipping. Those units are measured in kilotonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (kt CO2-e).

Those from global flights have risen significantly from 1332.9 kt CO2-e in 1990, to 3702.7 kt CO2-e in 2017, the last available figure.

International navigation has dropped slightly:  from 1055.9 kt CO2-e to 916.4 kt CO2-e, across the same period.

And while those numbers are recorded in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory, they are not reported under its international obligations.

Minister of Climate Change James Shaw says Greta Thunberg "has a point" on international transport emissions.
ROSS GIBLIN/STUFFMinister of Climate Change James Shaw says Greta Thunberg “has a point” on international transport emissions.

“That’s because the Paris Agreement doesn’t include aviation and shipping,” Shaw says. “They are handled via separate agreements – the aviation one is called Corsia, and the shipping one is Marpol.

“We are also working through those agreements.

“Now, I think Greta Thunberg makes a good point, that for visibility, we ought to get everything all in one place, and I think you can make that case, but we built the zero carbon bill around the Paris agreement, and that is why it is structured that way.”

Shaw is correct: international shipping and aviation were left out of the national targets under the Paris Agreement, because they don’t happen within the boundaries of any specific countries and tracking their emissions through the global supply chain is difficult.

As well as that, a good fuel alternative isn’t yet available.

Instead, under the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement, we submit overall territorial emissions figures to the UN. In New Zealand, the bulk of those emissions come from agriculture (48 per cent) and energy (41 per cent). In 2017, our gross greenhouse gas emissions were 80,853 kt CO2-e.

Greenhouse gases - mainly carbon dioxide - from burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming when released into the atmosphere.
APGreenhouse gases – mainly carbon dioxide – from burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming when released into the atmosphere.

Shipping produces 2.4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and aviation yields about two per cent. Both are also projected to rise dramatically by 2050. 

Marpol is short for marine pollution – but New Zealand is one of a handful of countries yet to sign up to a sixth part of the agreement, which focuses on reducing shipping fumes.

ELECTRIC AEROPLANES AND ‘DIRTY SLUDGE’

The global economy runs on shipping and air freight. And tourism is New Zealand’s biggest export sector.

New Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment figuresforecast international arrivals will rise on average by 4 per cent annually. The industry hopes to earn $50 billion by 2025.

Shaw says flag carrier airline Air New Zealand, with majority government ownership, is trying to drive down emissions while expanding the business. 

“I’m actually pretty pleased with the leadership that Air NZ is showing on aviation emissions… [chief executive] Chris Luxon reckons that we will have electric aeroplanes, at least for our regional routes, at least within 10 years or so.

“Obviously the big one is international and it will take a lot longer for the technology to develop there.

“But they have got a significant off-setting programme…it’s not ideal, but the next best thing you can do is off-set and I would encourage people to off-set if their work involves travel.”

International shipping from New Zealand isn't counted in its emissions reporting.
ROSS GIBLIN/STUFFInternational shipping from New Zealand isn’t counted in its emissions reporting.

Under the UN Paris pact, Air New Zealand must report its domestic flight emissions to the Government. But other countries – like China – haven’t signed up to those obligations. 

“The truth is that we have a lot of airlines in parts of the world which are expanding rapidly, they are very low cost, they are leasing in, or buying, second-hand planes from the leading airlines [which] are much less fuel efficient. So, for all the good work that is happening with some airlines, unfortunately you are seeing much more expansion on the other side. It is an area of real concern.”

Amanda Larsson, of Greenpeace, says Nz should be "pushing hard"  for the inclusion of aviation and shipping into international emissions agreements.
SUPPLIEDAmanda Larsson, of Greenpeace, says Nz should be “pushing hard” for the inclusion of aviation and shipping into international emissions agreements.

Shaw is less effusive about shipping.

“Ships tend to use the lowest quality, highest emissions fuels. Bunker oil, which is basically dirty sludge. There is a lot of work to be done there.”

“There are some things we can do here in New Zealand – with the ferries, some of our coastal fleets, and fishing, but that is pretty small fry when you compare it to the freight routes.

“We can supply ships with cleaner fuel here in New Zealand. The question is: are the ships able to swap fuel types? That is why international co-operation is so important.  

“We have to make sure those fuels are available in every port …And that we are putting pressure on the shipping lines to swap out the dirty old technologies for much cleaner alternatives.”

HYPOCRITICAL AND UNJUST

Amanda Larsson, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, agrees we are cheating on our emissions reporting.

“And it is predominantly wealthy countries where people have the resources to be able to do international travel that aren’t accounting for those emissions,” she said.

“Developing countries are already bearing the brunt of the climate impact of our warming world and carbon industries, like poor air quality and health effects.

“The fact that wealthier countries, like New Zealand and the UK, with a high proportion of carbon emissions can say ‘we are reducing our emissions aren’t we great,’ while offloading a lot of those emissions onto developing countries or not accounting for them all as in the case of aviation is an injustice, and a bit hypocritical.”

New Zealand doesn't count the emissions from goods it imports from other countries.
ROSS GIBLIN/STUFFNew Zealand doesn’t count the emissions from goods it imports from other countries.

Larsson says New Zealand should be one of the strongest voices for the decarbonisation of global aviation. That would include counting emissions from tourism and flights arriving here. She’d also like to see a levy on international tourism, that is ring-fenced to invest in carbon-lowering activities.

“We are country that is reliant on international tourism and has a culture of travelling overseas…we can’t have sustainable tourism in New Zealand if it’s growth is fuelled by aeroplanes that are powered by fossil fuels.”

We are also ‘outsourcing’ a chunk of other emissions. Around 22 per cent of global CO2 emissions stem from the production of consumer goods that are exported to a different country, according to a 2012 study.

“It effectively means effectively means that we in New Zealand are offloading those emissions from our consumption on countries like China, or wherever those products are produced,” Larsson said.

“People often complain that New Zealand is too small to have an impact on the climate and what really needs to happen is for China to act. That is actually ignoring the critical point that we are driving the production of a lot of these products in China and driving up China’s emissions from the consumption of products [and] then we don’t account for them.”

In April, the European Transport & Environment non-governmental organisation agreed with Thunberg’s stance – and said they believe it is a breach of the Paris Agreement. 

Aviation manager Andrew Murphy told the Guardian: “We believe the Paris agreement is clear that international aviation and shipping should be included in national climate targets. Paris calls for a bottom-up approach so individual states can include what they want in their budgets. We don’t see this outsourcing of responsibility by governments for international aviation and shipping as consistent with Paris. It breaches the agreement.”

The UK claims its greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 42 per cent since 1990. Thunberg claimed  the true reduction was about 10 per cent.

Stuff

Waikato Expressway a year late as road refocus drives workers offshore, says MP

A government axing of big roading projects is sending workers offshore and has put the Waikato Expressway finish a year behind schedule, a Hamilton MP says. 

The final segment of the $2.1 billion expressway is now not expected to be finished until middle or late 2021.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has put the delay down to “resourcing levels for the contractor in a constrained construction market and unseasonal weather of the 2016/17 summer.”

National's Hamilton East MP David Bennett puts the delayed completion date for the Waikato Expressway down to people heading offshore for job security.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFFNational’s Hamilton East MP David Bennett puts the delayed completion date for the Waikato Expressway down to people heading offshore for job security.

The incoming Labour-led government called a halt to National’s plans to carry expressway work south of Cambridge and Hamilton East National MP David Bennett contended the delay was due to workers heading to Australia for better job prospects as work here dries up.

“The workforce here know they don’t have any roading projects to go on with. It’s very difficult to get people to do this kind of work in this type of infrastructure now because the Government has cancelled future projects on the Waikato Expressway. And that doesn’t give certainty for staff and so they are making their own decisions and they are deciding to move before that work finishes.

David Bennett also doesn't believe the wet weather of 2016/17 summer being a valid reason for the delay.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFFDavid Bennett also doesn’t believe the wet weather of 2016/17 summer being a valid reason for the delay.

“They’ve got a very strong signal in front of them from the Government that post-2020 there is no work for them in this field, the Government has shifted their transport funding and infrastructure funding to Auckland rail and it hasn’t given the ability for people to build roads.”

Bennett also doesn’t believe the wet weather of 2016/17 summer is a valid reason for the delay. 

“We’ve had a drought this summer in the Waikato. There is no real excuse weather-wise, they could have picked up the work and finished that. The Huntly bypass has been confirmed that it will be finished in 2020 and there were no weather issues there and that’s in the same region.” 

NZTA realised last month that they would no longer be able to deliver the final section of the expressway on time.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFFNZTA realised last month that they would no longer be able to deliver the final section of the expressway on time.

The Hamilton section is the seventh and final part of the 102km expressway which runs from the Bombay Hills to just south of Cambridge. 

The 21-kilometre-long section includes 17 new bridges, walking, and cycling links.

The $632 million project began in 2016. It has been designed and built by a group comprising Fletcher, Beca, Higgins, and Coffey, in alliance with the NZ Transport Agency.

Then Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges turned the sod on the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway in March 2016.
MARK TAYLOR FAIRFAX NZThen Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges turned the sod on the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway in March 2016.

A review is currently underway around the delay and when completed in June it will give NZTA a better idea of expected completion dates. 

Transport Minister Phil Twyford declined to comment, calling the issue an operational matter.

Darryl Coalter, NZTA Delivery portfolio manager, said a staffing issues weren’t because of people heading overseas for better job security. 

A review will be completed in June and it should provide an idea of a new completion date for the Waikato Expressway.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFFA review will be completed in June and it should provide an idea of a new completion date for the Waikato Expressway.

“You can take it from the context of the 2011 earthquakes – our resources have been used up by significant rebuild projects. If you add in Auckland’s CRL [City Rail Link] they are pretty enormous projects for New Zealand’s size so all of those things add tension to keeping people in the market.

“2020 is still a fair way away, you just don’t know what could happen in the interim, what projects could come out. I think there is still plenty of work around if you look in the  GPS’s [Government Policy Statement on land transport ] and national transport portfolio. There is still plenty of work and plenty of investment in the assets, Coalter said. 

NIWA and Waikato Regional Council figures show while the end of 2016 was quite dry, the big impact came from a string of ex-tropical cyclones in 2017, Coalter said.

“There were enormous rainfalls and effectively what happened then was the groundwater on the site rose between one and three metres.  Unuseable material because of silt also meant more soil had top be moved, adding time.

“It’s a reality sometimes when you can’t account for all ground conditions, you can’t take account of the weather sometimes. I would love every project to come in early but sometimes you are in the lap of the gods,” Coalter said. 

NZTA had realised in within the last month that they would be no longer able to deliver the project in the predicted timeframe. The Hamilton section remains on budget. 

The Longswamp section is on schedule to be completed in 2019 and Huntly next year. 

Stuff

Shane Jones lobbied for trucking firm to be allowed to bypass hiring in NZ first

In public, Shane Jones plays the role of a populist, repeatedly railing against the use of migrant labour.

But it has emerged that in 2018, Jones privately lobbied a Cabinet colleague on behalf of an associate who was seeking accredited employer status from Immigration New Zealand.

The high profile NZ First MP appears to have done so after he had been briefed that the company, owned by former Whangārei Mayor Stan Semenoff, faced investigation by the safety regulator which could see it ordered off the road. Jones has also become involved in that case, raising accusations of interfering with a government prosecution.

Conferred by Immigration New Zealand, accredited employer statuswould have streamlined the process of hiring migrants for Stan Semenoff Logging, a large Northland log truck company, such as bypassing the need to check if Kiwi workers are available when hiring.

In written Parliamentary questions, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said Jones visited him in his Beehive office on August 20 to raise Semenoff’s application for accredited employer status.

It appears the meeting was unscheduled.

If the status had been granted, Semenoff could have hired foreign truck drivers “without first having to check if any New Zealanders can do the work”, according to Immigration New Zealand’s website.

In March Shane Jones raised action being taken by the New Zealand Transport Authority against Stan Semenoff Logging with the regulator's chief executive. It has now emerged that Jones approached Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway about the company's struggle to gain status which would have made it easier for Semenoff to hire migrant workers.
HAGEN HOPKINS/GETTY IMAGESIn March Shane Jones raised action being taken by the New Zealand Transport Authority against Stan Semenoff Logging with the regulator’s chief executive. It has now emerged that Jones approached Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway about the company’s struggle to gain status which would have made it easier for Semenoff to hire migrant workers.

In return, accredited employers “must take direct responsibility for the workers you employ” and pay a base salary of at least $55,000.

It does not appear that Jones’ efforts to assist Semenoff were – or even could have been – successful.

Lees-Galloway checked with Immigration New Zealand and was told the application had been turned down four days before Jones met him.

“This decision was an operational one …[which] is not subject to Ministerial Discretion or other override.”

After an official from Jones’ office wrote seeking an update, Lees-Galloway’s office later called Jones “to explain that I had no ability to override the decision”.

Days earlier, Jones and some of his ministerial colleagues had been briefed on NZTA’s possible action against Semenoff, which came to a head earlier this year.

Jones and Semenoff have both spoken publicly about the fact that they are related in the past, although Jones has recently downplayed how close the link is as he faced questions about becoming involved in the case of the transport regulator against Semenoff’s company.

Stan Semenoff, pictured when he was Mayor of Whangarei. The logging truck company owner is facing action by NZTA which could see his fleet forced off the road.
WHANGAREI LEADERStan Semenoff, pictured when he was Mayor of Whangarei. The logging truck company owner is facing action by NZTA which could see his fleet forced off the road.

Jones did not respond to requests for an interview or provide answers to written questions.

In a statement, Lees-Galloway said Jones’ approach was “not out of the ordinary”. MPs often approached him about immigration cases “because of the availability of Ministerial discretion” however no such discretion existed in the area Jones raised.

Earlier this year Jones stepped into a legal battle between Semenoff and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), which has taken action to revoke operating licences because of persistent safety concerns.

Jones raised the case directly with the chief executive of NZTA, while in a media interview, Jones warned of the potential economic ramifications if Semenoff is not able to operate. The company accounts for around half of all logging transport in the province.

In Parliament, Jones has made cryptic comments suggesting that NZTA’s lawyers have attempted to turn Filipino drivers into “pimps” or “informants”.

In August Shane Jones turned up to the office of Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and raised Stan Semenoff Loggings' application to Immigration New Zealand for accredited employer status.
MONIQUE FORD/STUFFIn August Shane Jones turned up to the office of Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and raised Stan Semenoff Loggings’ application to Immigration New Zealand for accredited employer status.

The case between NZTA and Semenoff returns to court in Auckland on Monday, after the trucking company won the right to challenge a decision by the regulator.

National’s regional economic development spokesman Paul Goldsmith said the meeting with Lees-Galloway was another example of Jones attempting to help Semenoff and should be explained in greater detail.

“It seems to be part of a pattern of inexplicable extra attention to this particular firm from Jones and I do think he needs to explain it a bit more,” Goldsmith said.

“There is a pattern now emerging of numerous attempts by the Minister [Jones] to lobby on their behalf, knowing that there was a pending investigation by NZTA,” Goldsmith said.

National Party economic development spokesman Paul Goldsmith said Shane Jones had attempted to help Stan Semenoff on multiple occasions and should give more details.
ROBYN EDIENational Party economic development spokesman Paul Goldsmith said Shane Jones had attempted to help Stan Semenoff on multiple occasions and should give more details.

The Mayor and the Minister

Jones and Semenoff have talked about each other repeatedly.

Back in 2009, Jones explained away a $2000 donation from Semenoff, then the mayor of Whangārei, as a koha from “my mother’s cousin”.

Within weeks of becoming a junior minister in the Helen Clark Government in 2008 (during his first term as an MP), Jones issued an official statement as Building and Construction Minister, shooting down Semenoff’s reported claims that extractor fans were compulsory in new homes.

In 2010, at around the same time as Jones was mired in an embarrassing expense scandal, Semenoff was “thrown out” (his words) as mayor of New Zealand’s northernmost city.

Three years later, he talked big words as he bid to get his job back, insisting his removal had delayed the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway.

He also talked up his friends in Wellington.

“This is why I talk about, we’ve got to get closer to the government of the day,” he said.

“If my cuzzie Shane [Jones], which we are cousins, should make the mark, we’ll certainly cuddle up to him.”

When Jones was asked about his relationship with Semenoff this year, his office briefly denied he had received a donation. It then played down the closeness of the relationship.

Semenoff’s “great, great grandmother is my mother’s great, great, great grandmother”, Jones said in Parliament. The pair shared a common ancestor in Victorian times, he said later.

Stuff

NYK Introduces Japan’s 1st Additive for IMO 2020-Compliant Fuel Oil


Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and shipping and marine supplier Nippon Yuka Kogyo, a NYK Group company, have jointly developed a new fuel oil additive for low-sulfur compliant fuel-oil that meets SOx emission requirements.

Yunic 800VLS — patent pending — is Japan’s first additive for very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), NYK said.

The additive is said to improve safety by helping to avoid troubles that may be caused by certain contents of VLSFO, according to the company.

A global sulfur cap will enter into force on January 1, 2020, and one way ships can meet the requirement is by using VLSFO – a fuel oil with a sulfur content below 0.5%. However, a wide variety of VLSFO is expected to be supplied because the manufacturing process differs from conventional heavy fuel oil, which has a sulfur content of up to 3.5%.

NYK and Nippon Yuka Kogyo thus began examining VLSFO at an early stage and have developed an additive that will lessen the likelihood of the VLSFO causing engine problems.

Specifically, Yunic 800VLS disperses asphaltene and paraffin (wax) specific within VLSFOs to suppress sludge formation.

The effect of Yunic 800VLS has been certified by ClassNK.

“The NYK Group seeks to be compliant with the 2020 SOx cap and enrich safe operations by introducing this new fuel-oil additive for VLSFO,” NYK said in a statement.

NYK in biofuel research and testing
Separately, NYK Line and Japan Engine Corporation (J-ENG) revealed they would start the research and development of biofuel using a test engine as one of the solutions for decarbonization.

Considered to be a carbon-neutral fuel, biofuel is a fuel derived from organic substance or biomass.

Biofuel has been attracting attention as an alternative fuel as one of the promising renewable energy toward decarbonization and one of the solutions against the energy crisis due to the depletion of natural resources such as fossil fuel.

In addition, since biofuel emits almost no sulfur oxides (SOx) in combustion, its use as a marine fuel is expected to be expanded.

In collaboration with NYK Line, J-ENG plans to carry out the engine test using the biofuel from GoodFuels, a biofuel supplier based in the Netherlands.

Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere proposes selling Ports of Auckland

Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere has proposed selling Ports of Auckland to a private company but keeping its waterfront land in public hands.

In his latest policy announcement, Tamihere today said the best way to future-proof the 77ha of prime waterfront land was to split the council-owned business from the land and go to market with the business.

Under his proposal, the new port owners would lease the land from council at a commercial rate for up to 25 years to develop an agreed exit strategy.

“The Ports must move, but exactly where it moves to will be part of ongoing discussions,” he said.

“But I have to give clarity and direction so we can all plan for the next 25 years.”

Mayor Phil Goff called his rival’s policy “bizarre”, saying it is the worst possible time to sell the port business when it has no clear future, nobody knows where it is going to move to and who will pay the cost of new infrastructure and relocation.

He was referring to a ports study set up by the Government to look at how the existing ports at Auckland, Marsden Point and Tauranga could be reconfigured to provide the best options for long-term growth.

The first of three progress reports from a working group in April suggested an inland port in west Auckland and a vehicle importing and servicing centre at Northport among a dozen potential transport investments to improve freight handling in the upper North Island.

The working group plans to report back to the Government in June with options and complete more detailed costings and recommendations in September.

“Who is going to buy the company when they don’t know where its operations will be in 10, 15, 25 years? It will be selling it at a bargain basement price,”Goff said.

Auckland Mayoral candidate John Tamihere. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland Mayoral candidate John Tamihere. Photo / Dean Purcell

Tamihere said a timely managed exit would open the Waitemata Harbour’s green footprint as well as provide a much-needed cash injection to ease ratepayers’ costs.

Other advantages would be to de-risk the costly relocation of the port, give council a financial stream from the leased land (council currently gets a dividend of about $50 million a year from the port), open up 77ha of land for ratepayers to decide its future, and establish a “transition fund” to support port workers into new jobs, he said.

Speaking to media about the policy, Tamihere did not know how much the port business could sell for, but suspected Ports of Tauranga will be “in boots and all” and interest would come form as far away as Singapore.

A Future Port Study commissioned by Auckland Council in 2016 found moving Ports of Auckland to a new “super port” in the Manukau Harbour or the Firth of Thames would cost $4 billion to $5.5b.

Tamihere said he has met major stakeholders, including port executives, the Maritime Union and transport groups to brief them on the policy. No one opposed it, he said.

He also raised the prospect of congestion charges for trucks using the port between working hours of 9am to 5pm to overcome “chronic ports traffic congestion”.

Imported cars lined up at the Ports of Auckland on the Captain Cook Wharf in front of Queens Wharf. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Imported cars lined up at the Ports of Auckland on the Captain Cook Wharf in front of Queens Wharf. Photo / Jason Oxenham

He said Auckland Transport forums and the major Ports carriers agree congestion is a major problem and are identifying ways to work through a self-regulatory system. Truckies will be in some difficulty initially but they get the transition, he said.

Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett said excluding heavy trucks from Auckland city between 9am and 5pm is lacking in strategy and planning, ridiculous and would have a negative impact on all New Zealanders.

“Mr Tamihere says the operations of the Ports of Auckland should move, but he has no idea where to. So, any move is many years away. In the interim, there seems to be this bizarre proposal to exclude heavy trucks from Auckland central business district (CBD) – where Ports of Auckland operates, between 9am and 5pm. He’s not sure what that truck exclusion will include.

“Why would you increase the costs of transporting goods in and out of New Zealand’s major city? This proposal would definitely add costs to all the goods in people’s lives that are transported by trucks – which is pretty much everything,” Leggett said.

Goff also slammed the idea of congestion charges during the day for trucks, saying the busiest time for truck movements was between 10am and 2pm outside of work hours.

“The policy is just not well thought out and totally counter-productive. It is making policy on the hoof,” he said.

Tamihere, who is mounting a serious challenge to Mayor Phil Goff’s bid for a second term, has already announced he will “shake up” the way council runs, turn Eden Park into the city’s main venue for sports and major events and sack the board of Auckland Transport.

Other mayoral candidates include businessman John Palino, who is standing for a third time, Joshua Love, John Lehmann and Craig Lord.

Lord has announced a policy to keep speedway at Western Springs and scrap plans to move cricket there. He also wants to make it easier for Eden Park to hold concerts.

Miller takes hands on role at KiwiRail

Former Toll head Greg Miller’s time as chair of KiwiRail is over – he’s moved across to become the company’s chief executive.

Acting chair Brian Corban says the appointment sends a strong signal as the company prepares for unprecedented growth and change, including replacing Interislander ferry fleet, the need for a major rolling stock replacement programme and new initiatives such as the reopening of the Napier to Wairoa line and an $80 million investment in tourism services.

He says Mr Miller an unrivalled set of global experience in supply chain, a history with rail, domestic transport expertise, and who has led companies through significant growth and transformation.

Mr Miller says the organisation is at a pivotal point with the support of the Government and the ability to make a once-in-a-generation difference to New Zealanders through easing congestion in cities, taking trucks off vulnerable roads, reducing carbon emissions and driving investments in regional economies.