Welcome to Cubic Transport Services - for a great freight experience
21st August 2018

08:00 – 17:00

Monday to Friday

L 14, 151 Queen St

Auckland 1010, NZ

0800 2 CUBIC


New KiwiRail chair pops up on upper North Island port study group

New KiwiRail chair pops up on upper North Island port study group. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

Newly appointed KiwiRail chair Greg Miller has also been appointed to a five-member working group charged with writing a new upper North Island supply chain strategy to guide the government’s desire to integrate port, rail and road transport infrastructure planning for the country’s economic and population epicentre.

The Ministry of Transport is close to announcing the five person group, to be chaired by former Northland mayor and health board chairman Wayne Brown, which will advise on a range of major transport and infrastructure issues, including “the current and future drivers of freight and logistics demand, including the impact of technological change; a potential future location or locations for Ports of Auckland, with serious consideration to be given to Northport”; and “priorities for other transport infrastructure, across road, rail and other modes and corridors such as coastal shipping”.

A Northport redevelopment could include refurbishment and extension of rail freight services into Northland and to NorthPort, and could ultimately include moving the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Devonport base to Whangarei.

Miller’s appointment to the KiwiRail chairmanship was announced yesterday after he resigned as chief executive at Toll Holdings on Monday and was heavily backed by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters against initial objections from the Treasury and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

The state-owned rail company is therefore changing both its chair and deputy, with both Trevor Janes and Paula Rebstock respectively stepping down, and its chief executive following the announcement last month by current KiwiRail CEO Peter Reidy that he was taking up a senior role at Fletcher Building. That decision is understood to have been prompted by the planned appointment of Miller, who was CEO at KiwiRail’s predecessor, TranzRail, at the time it was sold back to the government by Toll in 2008.

Also on the working group is a former TranzRail group general manager, Noel Coom, in another sign of NZ First ministers Peters and Shane Jones’ determination to inject deeper knowledge of transport and logistics into government thinking on transport and infrastructure.

Susan Krumdieck, a professor in mechanical engineering at Canterbury University with long experience consulting for local government, government departments and community groups on transport, energy and future demand projects will also join the supply chain working group, along with Sarah Sinclair, a construction and infrastructure specialist for law firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts.

Its fifth member is Shane Vuletich, who has represented the Society for the Protection of Auckland Harbours lobby group in public debate on the future of the Auckland central city port, and is managing director of the Fresh Information Company, a strategy and forecasting analysis business, with tourism, major events and infrastructure planning experience,

“A system wide review of the Upper North Island supply chain is important because about 55 percent of New Zealand’s freight originates in or is destined for, the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions,” the MoT’s explanation of the working group says, noting its recommendations could include “investment in the regions, and that the government might need to invest”.

No timetable has yet been set for outcomes from the study, the terms of reference for which were agreed last December.

Are we ready for the ‘Walls of Wood’?

Logs piled up at Centreport in Wellington. Photo by Lynn Grieveson

Special correspondent Gavin Evans finds log exports have tripled in the last decade and could at least double again over the next decade. He takes a detailed look at the wave of port, rail and road investment needed to cope with this ‘wall of wood’, let alone an even bigger one planned under the Government’s ‘Billion Trees’ programme.

All over the North Island, ports and KiwiRail are scrambling to deal with a ‘wall of wood’ that has tripled since 2008. They say they will need to invest heavily again if they are to cope with another potential doubling of the harvest in the coming years. High log prices because of Chinese demand could easily trigger another surge in the ‘wall’.

The ports of New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier and Wellington are straining to keep up with the demand to move logs from forests to ports, and will have to work hand-in-hand with a capital constrained KiwiRail to avoid regional roads and highways being pounded into potholes by fleets of logging trucks.

For example, Port Taranaki is hoping a planned rail service from Whanganui will help it capture a bigger share of the wall of wood coming out of the lower North Island.

The company has been working with KiwiRail and foresters and says it is close to settling a new service that could deliver between 80,000 and 120,000 tonnes of logs to the port annually starting early next year.

Chief executive Guy Roper says the details of the cost and the share of the investment are still being worked through. But he says an improved supply chain would be more efficient and improve the return to forest owners.

“This is about growth – additional logs coming to Port Taranaki from the Whanganui area,” he says.

“Logs within a closer radius of the port are still likely to come on trucks. But logs will no longer be exclusively on trucks, which will help congestion, help reduce the amount of maintenance and upgrades required, and reduce carbon emissions.”

Taranaki handled 692,000 tonnes of logs in the year through June, 42 per cent more than a year earlier. But it is not alone trying to cater for the forestry boom. Many of the country’s ports have experienced 20 percent-plus annual volume growth in recent years as trees have reached harvest age and strong demand from China has delivered record prices.

Many ports have, or are, extending log yards and rationalising wharf space to cope. Others are planning dredging to cater for bigger vessels or paving yards and buying bigger loaders and higher book-ends – the massive steel frames logs are stacked within – to improve their use of space.

But some, such as Napier and Eastland at Gisborne, are also facing a step-change in investment to increase capacity and reduce congestion. The major berth expansions planned in coming years will cater not just for the expected logs growth, but also increasing cruise ship visits and growth in other export freight.

And the planning and commitment that entails should be on peoples’ radar if the country is to more double or almost triple its forest estate by 2050 – as recommended by the Productivity Commission – to help meet its climate change targets.

That extra 1.3 million to 2.8 million hectares of trees will most likely be planted in more marginal – and hard to get to – dry stock land in eastern Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, southern Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and down the east coast of the South Island. And that will have big implications for the road and rail links in those areas – if they exist – to get those logs to port.

As Forestry Minister Shane Jones told MPs in June, careful planning will be needed to ensure any exotics planted as part of the billion trees programme don’t become “stranded assets”.

And then there are the capital requirements. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council,which owns Napier Port, has already signaled it doesn’t have the funds to meet both its environmental plans and fund the $250 million to $300 million of spending the port says it will need in the next decade to meet its growing log, cruise ship and export apple trade.

The council will go to ratepayers later this year on options that could include selling part of the business or leasing the port out long-term to an operator prepared to make that investment.

Northport has also begun consulting on a much longer-term concept plan for extending its wharves east and west to cater for more log and container traffic.

Better times for KiwiRail

In the meantime, KiwiRail has benefited from the rising harvest volumes and has expanded its fleet of log wagons 40 per cent since 2011.

It converted about 130 container wagons to carry logs last year. It will accommodate the new Taranaki service within the 200 wagon conversions it plans in the current financial year, Alan Piper, the firm’s sales and commercial general manager, says.

The viability of a rail service to a forester depends on a range of variables, including train size and the distance of a forest from the rail head.

But, as a general rule, he says distances of 85 kilometres or more from port provide the biggest advantage over trucking. And the truck trips avoided reduce road wear and cut emissions by about two-thirds.

Earlier this year KiwiRail was delivering 60 log trains a week to Tauranga from yards at Kawerau, Murupara and Kinleith. It estimates those loads avoided 340 truck movements a day.
Centreport in Wellington has also benefited from its rail links to Wairarapa, the main trunk line north and west to Wanganui to deliver its increasing log volumes. It handled 653,000 tonnes of logs in the six months through December, 5 per cent more than a year earlier.

But nationally, the sheer volume is the challenge, and it’s not all coming from regions well-served by rail.

Exports have tripled, and may rise another two thirds

New Zealand has about 1.7 million hectares of plantation forest and the harvest reached a record 33.1 cubic metres in 2017 – a 50 per cent increase since 2008, according to Westpac. Log exports reached 19.4 million cubic metres, 11 per cent more than a year earlier and almost triple that in 2008.

And depending on markets and the industry finding enough contractors and trucks and wharf space, that could reach 43 million cubic metres by 2021, according to age-based projections of wood availability. One Ministry of Primary Industries scenario sees the available harvest rising as high as 55 million cubic metres by 2022. (Updates from earlier version to make clear available harvest could rise 66 percent, rather than double)

A more measured scenario, in which hundreds of small forest owners adopt the more sustainable harvest policy of the large-scale operators, could see volumes sustained at more than 35 million cubic metres for a decade from about 2024, according to forecasts prepared for the Ministry of Primary Industries in 2014.

Regardless of when the peak supply arrives “there is a whole big wall of wood coming during the next seven years,” Westpac industry economist Peter Clark says.

But knowing when that volume will peak, and how best to move it, is the challenge for ports and transport firms. And while rail may be the more efficient, low-emissions way to move logs, it isn’t available everywhere and may only soak up the growth in volume rather than reduce the number of trucks already on the country’s roads.

Clark says the long-term outlook for New Zealand forestry is very good, given ongoing urbanisation and construction demand in places like China and India. The increasing use of New Zealand pine as structural timber in more markets is also positive.

But he says nearer term risks to the demand outlook are real. There has already been a slowdown in China – New Zealand’s biggest log buyer – and looming trade wars may also have an impact.

The central North Island dominates the country’s radiata pine crop and Port of Tauranga takes the lion’s share. The country’s biggest port moved 3.3 million tonnes of logs across its wharves in the six months ended December – 12 per cent more than a year earlier.

Napier Port, the country’s fourth-largest, handled a record two million tonnes of logs in the year through May. The 1.6 million tonnes shifted in the September year was 35 per cent more than the year before.

Log trucks arrive every few minutes at the port which also receives a daily log train from Whanganui. Rail delivered about 202,000 tonnes of the logs the port loaded onto 118 ships last year.

The company is now seeking consent for a $125 million wharf expansion to help cater for extra log ships and cruise liners.

It is expecting an almost nine per cent lift in log carrier visits by 2019 and a 49 per cent increase in all export volumes by 2026. And a big part of that is down to the reopening of the Napier-Wairoa freight line expected by the end of this year. KiwiRail estimates that could take as many as 5,500 log trucks off the roads a year.

Expansion plans in Gisborne

Eastland, the country’s second-largest log exporter, moved close to three million tonnes in the March year just ended – another record and about 20 percent more than the year before.

The community-owned firm, which has upgraded its log yards and started a satellite yard at Matawhero west of the city in 2011, believes those volumes could reach four to five million tonnes in the next six to eight years.

Eastland has invested more than $90 million in capital projects for the port in the past decade. Last year it indicated its Twin Berth project – to enable it to handle two 200-metre Handymax carriers at a time – would account for most of the $70 million of capital work planned during the following five years.

The work includes dredging, extending an existing wharf and strengthening the existing breakwater. Its final cost will depend on the extent and pace of reclamation – anything from 1.5 hectares to about four.

Like any infrastructure operator, Eastland wants to make sure it has the capacity in place to meet exporters’ needs. But it also needs to do that at least possible cost if the region’s foresters are to benefit.

Ports infrastructure manager Martin Bayley told foresters earlier this month he is keen to hold off “pouring more concrete” if some of that expected increase in volumes can be met with more efficient use of the existing assets.

“It’s easier to build cost than it is to build value,” he said during a presentation at the New Zealand Institute of Forestry conference in Nelson on July 10.

Eastland’s catchment stretches from the Wairoa River, 100 kilometres south of Gisborne, to Hicks Bay, 180 kilometres north at the top of East Cape.

And the region’s fragile soils mean its “trash” roads are hard to maintain, Minister Jones told the same conference. That’s why he’s pushing investigations of a wharf at Hicks Bay that logs could be barged from.

Eastland is working with iwi interests to test the feasibility of the plan.

Its early days. Bayley says building a wharf is one thing, but the economics of shifting logs is a function of both distance and the number of times the logs need to be handled. A port, he notes, also relies on a small industry of supporting operations to function.

Virtually all the country’s ports are investing in new loaders or paving to improve the efficiency of their log operations.

Even in the South Island

Port Marlborough’s Shakespeare Bay facility is handling about 700,000 tonnes of export logs, up from 507,000 five years ago. The company believes it can lift that to about a million tonnes in coming years through judicious investment in new plant and higher stackers.

Southport at Bluff is investing about $2.2 million adding a hectare of log space this year; Lyttelton recently resealed 15,000 square metres and improved storm water treatment for its all-weather log yard.

Port of Nelson embarked on a string of projects three years ago buying land, demolishing buildings and rationalising space. It expects to complete the work mid-2019.
A recent small reclamation will increase its storage space by more than 13 per cent to at least 85,000 Japanese agriculture standard cubic metres.

The firm handled 1.13 million cubic metres of logs in the June year, 26 per cent more than a year earlier. Annual shipments averaged 650,000 in the decade ended 2016.

“There has certainly been significant growth over the last two years,” acting chief executive Matt McDonald says. “Looking at the figures for the past six months or so, the volume going through the port has been more in the 1.2 – 1.3 million JAS range.”

Fuelling the ships of the future

By 2020, the global shipping fleet will be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and switch to low-sulphur fuels, a move that is expected to radically improve air quality. The recent decision pushed through by the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nation’s leading shipping agency, is one of the biggest revolutions in maritime history. Its effects will be felt the world over, by refineries and ship owners as well as trading hubs and ordinary consumers at the gas pump.

This is good news for the environment. According to a recent report by the National Resources Defense Council, with ships allowed to burn fuel with sulphur levels that are up to 3,500 times higher than permitted in on-road diesel, one container ship cruising along the coast of China emits as much diesel pollution as half a million new Chinese trucks in a single day. The major overhaul shows that the industry is finally making the transition from thick, sulphur-rich bunker fuel to cleaner, more environmentally friendly maritime fuel.

But in order to make sure that these changes have a lasting impact that goes beyond the shipping industry we will need to embrace the full potential of marine fuels and liquefied natural gas (LNG) and create a new culture of transparency, although within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) itself.

The IMO ruling to push the sulphur cap for bunker fuel down to 0.5% will affect 70,000 ships and will be a game changer for marine fuel. More broadly, the wider commodities industry, from coal to oil to sugar, is likely to face a price hike. No sector will be immune to these changes as the shipping industry carries almost 90 per cent of world trade. Airlines and travellers worldwide are also likely to be affected due to a knock-on effect creating higher fuel prices.

So where do we go from here? There is no silver bullet to the post-2020 scenario. Alternatives include using sulphur-rich fuel oils alongside so-called scrubber systems, exhaust gas cleaning systems, a technology which also has many drawbacks. The cost of investing in scrubbers can exceed US$10 million per ship. The low margins of the sector mean that ship owners are understandably reluctant to make these investments.

That is why the shipping sector must create a general consensus for post-2020 bunkering, one that will help cut costs and improve energy supply and security. Low sulphur fuel oil and liquefied natural gas are the way forward. They are credible solutions for energy stakeholders seeking an economic and environmentally sustainable option. LNG bunkering contains almost no sulphur, produces low greenhouse gas emissions and has a proven technological track-record.

Looking to the future, it is important that the shipping sector takes steps to harness the full potential of LNG as well as offset the potential consequences of the new regulations pushed through by the IMO. To do this, we first need to address the likely challenge of millions of barrels of high sulphur bunker fuel being displaced as a result of the new limits. This is because the marine market has traditionally been a major outlet for the refining industry.

Second, we will need to do the maths and work out the logistics of sourcing high volumes of LNG for bunkering in line with domestic and industrial needs. This will involve addressing the question of supply, mindful of the fact that in the short-term low-sulphur fuels will dominate until large scale consumption of LNG takes hold across the bunker sector.

Finally, a new culture of transparency has to take root in the shipping industry, encompassing all major players – including the IMO. A report published this month by Transparency International, the global corruption watchdog, highlighted several accountability shortcomings that are weighing down the Organisaton. These must be addressed if the IMO is to deliver on its ambitious and honourable goals.

The IMO’s ground-breaking changes are essentially a force for good. And they are no doubt the first of many steps aimed at making the shipping sector less of a menace to the environment. This is a unique opportunity for energy stakeholders, big and small, to stay ahead of the curve and rethink how we do business.
Source: New Europe

World’s largest container vessels under construction in Shanghai

Construction of two container ships with the carrying capacity of 22,000 TEUs, which would make them the largest container vessels in the world, began on Thursday, the paper.cn reported.

The two are among nine 22,000 TEU vessels deal signed by French container shipping operator CMA CGM and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) in September last year.

Built by Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, the two container vessels measure 400 meters in length, 61.3 meters in breadth and 33.5 meters in depth. The deadweight of the box ship is 220,000 DWT, which can contain 1,000,000,000 iPhoneX (with standard packing box). Moreover, it can still hold 2,200 4-foot refrigerated containers, accounting 20 percent of the whole TEU.

Besides, they are also the world’s first giant container ships propelling with engines burning liquefied natural gas, a technology breakthrough for environmental protection. They have distinctive advantages compared to the current ships using heavy fuel oil: Up to 25 percent less CO2, 99 percent less sulphur emissions, 99 percent less fine particles and 85 percent nitrogen oxides emissions.

The two vessels are expected to be delivered in 2019.
Source: ChinaDaily

Ports a catalyst for industrial property

Sales of land for logistics purposes related to its port operations are booming at Napier. Photo / Supplied
Sales of land for logistics purposes related to its port operations are booming at Napier. Photo / Supplied

The New Zealand Ports and Freight Yearbook 2018 produced by accountancy firm Deloittes, says the country’s two major container ports — in Tauranga and Auckland — continue to be the dominant players in the market, with a combined market share of 62 per cent of all containers handled last year, while all New Zealand ports increased container throughput in 2017.

National director for Bayleys Real Estate’s industrial and logistics division, Scott Campbell, says regional New Zealand’s industrial property sector had already benefited as a consequence of not only the growth in port activity, but also the way in which goods were being transported in to and out of the country. “Previously it was a case of a wharf-to-warehouse supply chain for imports, or vice-versa for exports. Now though, with bigger volumes coming in, we are seeing the rise of intermediary in-land ports,” Campbell says.

“And for both import and export-reliant firms, we are seeing much bigger warehousing facilities being built to accommodate stock, either once it has been unloaded from containers, or in advance of being containerised.

“That has seen a greater prevalence of ultra high-stud ‘drive through’ warehousing rather than the traditional dock and platform loading bays. “Warehousing facilities are buying bigger landholdings capable of storing substantial numbers of both 20 and 40-foot containers.”

Artist's impression of Tainui Group Holdings' plans for a 480ha inland port and logistics hub at Ruakura. Photo / SuppliedArtist’s impression of Tainui Group Holdings’ plans for a 480ha inland port and logistics hub at Ruakura. Photo / Supplied

Ports activities analysis from Bayleys’ research division has identified significant commercial property activity expansion in three New Zealand regions which have seen their shipping, rail and trucking transport volumes increase over the past decade — in the Waikato, Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury.

In Waikato, Tainui Group Holdings is embarking on an ambitious 480hainland port and logistics hub development at Ruakura.

Project general manager Blair Morris says due to demand, the Ruakura initiative is moving along much faster than anticipated — with full build-out in less than 30 years versus the company’s initial estimate of 50 years.

“We forecast up to 2.6 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) would be moving by 2044. However, the pace of growth is ahead of forecast as the two major North Island ports are already moving circa 2.2 million TEUs, only four years on from the forecast”, says Morris.

Inquiry about industrial property sites at Ruakura is coming chiefly from major warehousing and distribution businesses looking to relocate outside of Auckland and includes significant players in the construction, food and beverage processing, and retailing sectors.

Meanwhile in Hawke’s Bay, Napier’s business development manager, Andrew Palairet, said the company has acquired a large block of land at Whakatu for potentially creating a freight hub. The site is leased to a third party in the interim.

Largely unseen by the public, port operations continue 24/7. Photo / SuppliedLargely unseen by the public, port operations continue 24/7. Photo / Supplied

Two years ago the port acquired 4.5ha site in Napier’s Pandora industrial precinct, primarily to enable expansion of its existing empty container handling depot adjacent to the new site.

“There are large, medium and small land blocks available for purchase or lease within Napier, Hastings and surrounds. Land values are on the rise and the economic mix should provide a steady stream of tenants,” Palairet says.

Rolleston, just south of Christchurch is the pre-eminent industrial growth area in Canterbury, underpinned by the two inland ports — MetroPort and MidlandPort.

industrial development firm Carter Group is behind Rolleston’s evolving IPort Business Park which occupies 95ha of industrial land, part of which has an boundary with Lyttleton Port of Christchurch’s MidlandPort.

Lyttelton, the port serving Christchurch, purchased 27ha of the original 122ha MidlandPort industrial site for its Rolleston-based operations. Around 92 per cent of Canterbury’s exports transit though Rolleston.

The land parcels IPort is selling adjacent to the MidlandPort operations offer huge scope for owners/developers looking for large shed properties on sites up to 7ha each. Around 18ha of IPort land has also been set aside for large format retail.

The balance of the industrial land is being carved up into sites ranging from 800sq m to 3ha — with Carter Group targeting businesses which may never have considered purchasing industrial land before.

Northport gets permanent, year-round, fortnightly port call from Mediterranean Shipping Company

The MSC ship, Northern Diplomat, took the first kiwifruit harvest from Northport earlier this year. Now the trial export service has been a permanent addition to the port's schedule.
The MSC ship, Northern Diplomat, took the first kiwifruit harvest from Northport earlier this year. Now the trial export service has been a permanent addition to the port’s schedule.

A double dose of good news has Northland’s deepwater port Northport buzzing, with expanded coastal shipping services locked in and a trial kiwifruit export service now operating year-round and taking other export products.

Northport chief executive Jon Moore said a seasonal trial of a port call at Northport by a global shipping giant has become a permanent, year-round service.

MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) has announced it is making the fortnightly port call at Northport by its Kiwi Express service a fixed part of its international schedule. The move will improve access to international markets for Northland’s exporters and importers.

A trial, which started in May and was planned to run until the end of the kiwifruit season in late August, has brought a ship to Northport every two weeks to load Zespri kiwifruit and other locally grown produce.

But the year-round service means other Northland exports can use it. The kiwifruit service alone was expected to take more than 500 truck and trailer trips off the road south of Marsden Pt.

Moore said that as well Pacifica Shipping had also confirmed it was expanding its coastal shipping service between Northport and ports further south, including into the South Island.

He said this opened up new opportunities for Northland businesses to get their products to elsewhere in the country without the need for them to be transported by road south of Marsden Pt, which would save costs and also mean less trucks on the roads.

”A port is a facilitator and we don’t drive any of this, but we can facilitate it well and if we didn’t have a port we wouldn’t be able to do any of this,” he said.

”The two announcements) have the potential to really help business grow in Northland and it’s now up to the business community to help grow this service by using it.”

General manager of MSC New Zealand Steve Wright said the company was delighted to add Northport as a year-round call on the Kiwi Express.

“It is a noticeable and important inclusion for all exporters and importers in the Northland region, as they now have direct access to all international markets for their cargo.”

Northland Inc chief executive officer David Wilson said the move was a really good sign.

“It’s showing confidence in the Northland economy.”

He said the move “just makes complete sense” and makes it a lot easier for Northland businesses to directly reach international markets.

“The cost of freight and logistics is an important component in any exporter’s product offering.”

Kerikeri-based grower, coolstore and packhouse operator Alan Thompson thought the move from a trial service to a permanent one was good and he hoped others would make use of it year-round.

Before the trial, kiwifruit was trucked from Kerikeri to Auckland before being loaded on to rail and taken to the Port of Tauranga for export.

Thompson said the cost to get one pallet of kiwifruit from Kerikeri to the Bay of Plenty is about $102. To load that same pallet at Marsden Point cost about $36, a saving of $66.

Moore was thrilled the service had been extended.

“The move is the result of months of hard work and relationship building by many people and organisations around our region. It reinforces what those of us who call Northland home already know, there is significant potential for economic growth here.

“We encourage any and all Northland importers and exporters, regardless of what sector they operate in, to use this service. We are hopeful that, given sufficient support, it could potentially become a weekly call.”

Safety shares top spot in new transport priorities

A vastly increased commitment to road safety, public transport and competitive freight efficiency were promised by the Government yesterday when it released the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Transport.

To achieve all three goals, there will be a renewed focus on both Auckland and the regions.

Meanwhile, there were queues at some petrol stations around the city as drivers looked to beat impending price rises.

Those price rises will come from new taxes announced by both the Government and the Auckland Council.

Yesterday morning the council adopted its 10-year budget, which includes a regional fuel tax of 10 cents per litre (11.5 cents with GST). It will come into force on Sunday.

In the afternoon the Government’s GPS announcement included a nationwide rise in the excise levy, or fuel tax, of 3.5 cents per litre (4.025 cents with GST) for each of the next three years. The first rise will be imposed on October 1.

From that date, the average Auckland household will pay $3.80 more per week for petrol.

Those with the lowest 30 per cent of incomes will pay an average $2.26 more per week. Households with the highest 30 per cent of incomes will pay more than twice that: an average $4.79 more per week.

Both the Government and the council say the extra taxes will allow them to undertake what Finance Minister Grant Robertson has called “New Zealand’s largest ever 10-year plan for transport investment”.

Standing in the giant KiwiRail freight yards at Onehunga today, Robertson promised “a long-term pipeline of transport projects that are fully funded”.

“The GPS prioritises linking production with distribution,” he said, “and that means a focus on freight.”

Transport minister Phil Twyford said that “for the first time” rail would be fully considered alongside roads when the Land Transport Fund was allocated by the NZ Transport Agency. “They will consider the merits of road and rail on a case by case basis and allocate the funds to whichever will do the job best.”

The Government would also “lift the standard of roads right across the country”, he said, adding that “the vast majority of serious crashes are on local roads”.

Associate transport minister Julie Anne Genter spelled out some of the detail of the increased commitment to road safety. She said $2 billion more would be spent on state highways with a focus on safety, and $800 million on local roads, also with a safety focus.

More median barriers and roadside barriers will be introduced for open roads, and some stretches may have lower speed limits too. There will be more roundabouts and other measures to make roads safer in built-up areas.

The Government has also made a 99 per cent boost to funds for promoting road safety and the use of public transport, cycling and walking.

Government spending on transport will rise from $3.6 billion in 2017/18 to $4 billion in 2018/19. By 2027/28 it will be $4.7 billion.

The way funds are allocated to local regions will change. Currently, the Government tends to match the funds of local councils, dollar for dollar.

“We pay 50:50 now,” said Twyford. “That will rise in many cases to government paying 75 or even 80 per cent.”

For example, funding for high priority projects around Tauranga will rise to 75 per cent, and in Gisborne it will be 84 per cent. That takes pressure off ratepayers and gives councils significantly more bang for every buck they commit themselves.

The Government Policy Statement (GPS) contains four “strategic priorities”: safety, value for money, access and the environment. It sets out spending priorities for the whole country and complements the Auckland Transport Alignment Plan agreed between the Government and the Auckland Council.

Changes to transport spending

• $4 billion over 10 years to “establish rapid transit investment”.
• 116 per cent increase in funding for walking and cycling infrastructure.
• 99 per cent increase on road safety promotions, alcohol interlocks and promotion of cycling and walking.
• 96 per cent increase in regional transport projects that improve safety, resilience and access.
• 68 per cent increase for public transport, to be spent on operational subsidies and new projects.
• 42 per cent increase on local road improvements.
• 11 per cent less on state highway improvements.

A Floating Dry Dock for New Zealand is Needed Now

Media Release
2 July 2018

“New Zealand needs a suitably sized dry dock facility to allow the servicing of our coastal fleet,” says the new President of NZ Shipping Federation, Clive Glover.

“Ship operators are aware of the many discussions with interested parties with regard to bringing a floating dry dock facility to New Zealand that will take current and future ships. We encourage those involved in the decision to actively progress it,” he said.

“Federation members are neutral with regard to the location of a floating dry dock, as anywhere here in New Zealand is significantly closer than the alternatives in the Philippines, Sydney or Singapore. We should retain the work and follow-on benefits within New Zealand.”

He said the Federation only asks that the choice of location is based on the factors that relate to functionality. These include:
• Ability to operate 24 hour, seven day a week.
• Suitable draught channel to the floating dock facility for all potential users including international vessels.
• Wharfage close to the dry dock for work that occurs pre and post docking time.
• Reasonable costs of access, port fees especially pilotage.

Federation members are less concerned about an existing workforce being in place prior to the dock being installed. “We are confident that the dry dock will attract the necessary associated businesses, including skilled workers, opportunities for apprentices in the relevant trades, accommodation and support services.”

“The sooner, the better,” said Mr Glover.

The New Zealand Shipping Federation began in 1906 and is the key representative body for New Zealand’s coastal shippers.
Members of the Federation are:
Coastal Bulk Shipping www.coastalbulkshipping.co.nz Anatoki Bulk cargo
Coastal Oil Logistics (COLL) www.coll.co.nz
Holcim www.holcim.co.nz Buffalo Cement
InterIslander www.interislander.co.nz Aratere Cook Strait ferry
Kaiarahi Cook Strait ferry
Kaitaki Cook Strait ferry
NIWA www.niwa.co.nz
Tangaroa Research
Kaharoa Research
China Navigation Aotearoa Chief Cement
www.pacship.co.nz Spirit of Canterbury Container cargo
Silver Fern Shipping www.sfsl.co.nz Kokako Fuel
Matuku Fuel
Strait Shipping www.strait.co.nz Straitsman Cook Strait ferry
Strait Feronia Cook Strait ferry

New President and Vice President Shipping Federation

New President and Vice President

After the Federation’s AGM on Friday 29 July, the Federation is pleased to advise that Clive Glover is now President and Keith Brown is Vice President.

Clive Glover is well known to the sector as General Manager, Marine Operations at Strait NZ, he has previously managed NIWA Vessels and was responsible for the build and delivery of the Tangaroa. Mr Glover was formerly the Vice President of the Federation.

Captain Brown came to New Zealand in October 2017 to take up as General Manager, Silver Fern Shipping. He has 29 years’ experience in the industry, both afloat and ashore.

Mr Glover thanked the outgoing President, Steve Chapman for his service to the Federation as President for 3 years and VP for the previous 3 years. Mr Chapman remains on the Council.

“The Federation has an important role in the political infrastructure of New Zealand as the representative of an important part of the transport sector. Maritime issues are important strategically and the Federation can help to ensure that government is well informed when it makes decisions that affect the sector, “said Mr Glover.

“As incoming President, I will be reviewing with every member what they expect from the Federation. It is also a good time to review our gaols and processes to ensure that we are maximising the value of membership by meeting members needs and expectations.”

New Zealanders spent $20b on transport last year

New Zealanders spent $20 billion on transport last year, according to Statistics NZ.


New Zealanders spent $20 billion on transport last year, according to Statistics NZ.

Transport costs for households jumped $2 billion within one year, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Between 2016 and 2017, the average amount New Zealand households spent on transport rose from $18b to $20b.

A decade earlier, households spent $13.4b on transport collectively.

Auckland public transport users spend $174 a month, according to an international report.


Auckland public transport users spend $174 a month, according to an international report.

The numbers are pulled from Statistics NZ’s final consumption expenditure (FCE) calculations, which shows the cost of transport has been rising steadily since 1994.


A Deutsche Bank report said Auckland public transport users spent an average of $174.51 a month, making it the third most expensive city to commute in, after London and Dublin.

Auckland's fuel tax will cause transport spending to continue increasing.


Auckland’s fuel tax will cause transport spending to continue increasing.

New Zealanders’ spending on transport is set to continue to rise as Auckland implements an 11.5 cent per litre fuel tax and councils in other cities look to follow suit.

Post prices and goods like food may become more expensive too as freight firms who transfer goods around the country will incur the extra tax and pass it onto consumers.

 – Stuff