Maritime New Zealand Chair appointed

Hon Phil Twyford
Minister of Transport

MEDIA STATEMENT

17 December 2018

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of Jo Brosnahan as Chair of the Maritime New Zealand Board.

Jo Brosnahan has been appointed for a three year term to 30 June 2021.

Phil Twyford says Jo Brosnahan is a very experienced board member with strong governance and leadership skills.

“She brings a good understanding of the maritime sector and has broad experience working with ports and harbours as the former CEO of Auckland Regional Council and Northland Regional Councils.

Maritime NZ’s core roles are to regulate the maritime sector, promote safety and maintain safety infrastructure, and respond to environmental incidents and emergencies at sea.

“Our Government is rebalancing the transport system toward better safety, access and value for money. We are creating a more modern, sustainable transport network.

“Maritime NZ has an important role to play in keeping New Zealanders safe on the water and protecting our environment. Jo Brosnahan will be great leader for the maritime community and will help support them to ensure our seas are safe, secure and clean.

“I’d like to acknowledge the work of the previous chair Blair O’Keeffe and thank him for his commitment during his two years on the Board,” Phil Twyford said.

ends

“Mediocre” Performance Stifles Global Ports

Global major terminal operators maintained a throughput of 41.69m teus in Q3 2018, but the “growth rate of the global terminal operators fell further to 5.8%, the lowest in the past two years,” a new report shows.

The Shanghai International Shipping Institute’s ‘Global Port Development Report of Q3 2018’ found global terminal operators had a “mediocre” performance in Q3 and Chinese and US ports in particular have suffered as a result of the US-China trade war.

The report confirms that “the escalating Sino-US trade war and shipping alliances’ trim or shutdown of liners and control on shipping space hindered the growth of the container shipping market.”

Container throughout down

Cargo throughput in the world’s major ports in Q3 2018 is up 7.4% year-on-year, but the growth rate of container throughput has declined, showed the report.

Cargo throughput rose to over 3.01bn tonnes in Q3 2018, but container throughout fared less well with 92.57m teus of containers handled, merely increasing 2.7% year-on-year.

Performance in production suffered as the escalating China-US trade friction ripped over to products suitable for container shipping, such as small-sized equipment and white goods.

Among the US ports, the Port of South Louisiana and the Port of Long Beach were most affected. The import and export volumes of major products hit by the tariff all fell to various extents, and the cargo throughput of these two ports dropped 1.9% and 3.4% year-on-year, respectively.

Of the Chinese ports, Shenzhen Port has the highest proportion of container throughput for the China-US shipping routes, which accounts for 27% of its overall container throughput. The trade war will dampen its business related to the international shipping routes by 4.5%, stated the report.

As trade friction continued to escalate, the throughput of Shenzhen Port fell 2.6% year-on-year to 6.9 million teus; with slow growth in exports and a withering container volume transferring to China and exporting to the US, the port saw its container throughput plunge 10.4% year-on-year to 4.82m teus.

Other issues which impacted growth and performance included increasingly strict environmental protection policies and a downward trend in global dry bulk cargo throughput.
Source: Port Strategy

MAN Cryo Takes Further Step towards Cleaner Shipping in World-First

MAN Cryo, the wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, has – in close cooperation with Fjord1 and Multi Maritime in Norway – developed a marine fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen.

Multi Maritime’s hydrogen vessel design for Fjord1, including the fully integrated ‘MAN Cryo – Hydrogen Fuel Gas System’, has been granted preliminary approval in principle, “AIP”, by the DNV-GL Classification society. The award is significant in that the system is the first marine-system design globally to secure such an approval.

Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Winning this approval is a significant development for a number of reasons. As a solution for vessels employed on relatively short maritime routes, such as ferries, this technology is a world-first and showcases our company’s ability to deliver genuinely innovative solutions. Furthermore, Hydrogen is a clean fuel whose profile fits perfectly with the general desire within the industry to move towards cleaner technology. The possibilities for this technology are varied and exciting.”

MAN Cryo developed the Liquid Hydrogen Marine Fuel Gas System design in-house at its headquarters in Gothenburg in close cooperation with the shipowner, Fjord1, and ship designer, Multi Maritime, in Norway.

Louise Andersson, Head of MAN Cryo, said: “To secure this approval in principle shows the determination that MAN Energy Solutions has to advance cleaner shipping solutions.”

She continued: “Our strategy is to actively work with our customers to design and promote cleaner ways of powering vessels, and the competence and energy within MAN Cryo conveys this strategy excellently.”

Fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen

The system has a scalable design that allows easy adaptation for different shipping types, sizes and conditions. The design is suited for both above- and below-deck applications, offering ship designers the flexibility to optimise their designs in relation to efficiency, and to cargo or passenger space.

MAN Cryo has long experience with cryogenic gases and solutions for storage and distribution. The company has also made numerous hydrogen installations over the years on land that, in combination with its extensive experience from marine fuel-gas systems for LNG, have been invaluable when designing the new system.

Liquefied hydrogen has a temperature of -253° Celsius and is one of the absolutely coldest cryogenic gases there is, which places system components and materials under extreme stresses. Another design challenge was hydrogen’s explosive nature, with the MAN Cryo engineering team accordingly placing top priority on safety.

Once liquefied, hydrogen is reduced to 1/800th of its volume, compared to that of its gas phase, facilitating a more-efficient distribution. As a fuel, hydrogen does not release any CO2 and can play an important role in the transition to a clean, low-carbon, energy system. Liquefied hydrogen can be used to charge batteries for electrical propulsion via fuel-cell technology. MAN Cryo states that it sees a bright future for hydrogen applications globally as part of its target of achieving zero fossil emissions within the marine sector by 2050. In particular, Norway is currently developing several promising hydrogen applications.

The Maritime Energy Transition

Shipping in particular is facing great challenges with regard to more environmentally-friendly fuel sources, which is why MAN Energy Solutions has argued in favour of what it terms a ‘Maritime Energy Transition’ for some time as the most promising way to achieve a climate-neutral shipping industry.

The term ‘Maritime Energy Transition’ stems from the German expression ‘Energiewende’ and encapsulates MAN Energy Solutions’ call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gas as the fuel of choice in global shipping. It is also an umbrella covering all MAN Energy Solutions’ activities in regard to supporting a climate-neutral shipping industry. Launched in 2016 after COP 21, the initiative has since found broad support within the shipping industry and German politics.

About MAN Cryo

MAN Cryo offers systems for the storage, distribution and handling of liquefied gases and has a pioneering reputation within the marine sector and LNG business development. It supplied the world’s first LNG fuel-gas system for the ‘Glutra’ ferry in Norway in 1999, a vessel that is still operational to this day. More recently, in 2013, MAN Cryo supplied the world’s first bunker vessel, the ‘SeaGas’, with operations in Stockholm, Sweden. The design for the conversion of the SeaGas was also provided by Multi Maritime with whom MAN Cryo has a long-time cooperation.
Source: MAN Energy Solutions

On Course Towards Administrative Simplification For Shipping

ECSA and the World Shipping Council (WSC) welcome the adoption of a General Approach on the proposal for a European Maritime Single Window environment by Transport Ministers yesterday.

European co-legislators have been working intensively to reduce the administrative burden shipping faces. This burden stems from today’s unharmonised and inefficient reporting obligations and mechanisms within the EU. ECSA and WSC are pleased with the progress being made in both Council and European Parliament towards the establishment of a European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe).

Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, commented: “With the adoption of this General Approach the Member States agreed to facilitate, simplify and harmonise the reporting to be done and take a step towards a real internal market for shipping.”

John Butler, CEO and President of the World Shipping Council commented: “The shipping industry is looking to the EU Institutions to deliver a European Maritime Single Window environment that remedies the deficiencies and costs that arose from the original Directive and its lack of a common blueprint for implementation by Member States. Because of those experiences it is even more important to make sure the agreed legal framework provides what’s needed to bring about real and tangible benefits to Europe’s maritime commerce”.

ECSA and WSC are pleased to see in the Council’s text a clear commitment to establish a harmonised data set, which is essential to reach real trade facilitation. The Council has agreed that the data elements must be kept to only the essential reporting information that is required and that additional temporary requirements are only added in exceptional and duly justified circumstances. Martin Dorsman added: “This is a very necessary addition, as we must be sure that once the spring cleaning of the reporting obligations is completed, this will not be undone the next day by allowing authorities to request without restrictions, any additional information in parallel to the EMSWe harmonised data set.”

The European Parliament Transport Committee is also making important improvements to the proposal. Both the draft report of MEP Ms Clune, the rapporteur, as well as several of the amendments tabled by her fellow MEPs are in line with requests from the industry to simplify and harmonise, not only the data, but also the reporting mechanism.

Martin Dorsman added: “On this last element, the ‘how’ to report the data or the so-called ‘reporting interfaces’, we stress the need to make sure these interfaces are truly harmonised and common, both for system-to-system reporting and manual reporting using websites. We very much welcome amendments from MEPs that look at providing a single acess point at EU level and harmonisation of the manual reporting tools (the Graphical User Interface). We stress this would not replace existing well-functioning reporting mechanisms, provided by some port community systems and national single windows. However we should not forget these do not exist in all ports and Member States. We cannot miss this unique opportunity to bring all EU ports to an advanced level by providing a common baseline standard, to the benefit of trade in general and short sea shipping in particular.”
Source: ECSA

World’s First Digital Shipping Company to Form in 2019

Shipping Container IoT visionary Loginno is leading an all-star initiative to select one shipping company, whose entire container fleet will be digitalized in 2019.

They call this initiative “The Contopia Factor,” or TCF for short, a paraphrase of the well-known reality show using a new buzzword. Contopia (a mesh of “Container” and “Utopia”), is a term used to describe a world where every shipping container is real-time IoT connected.

Contopia, Shipping Container Utopia by Loginno

During the 6-month process, shipping companies of mid to small size will have the chance to submit an executive summary, detailing what they will do exactly if they are selected to equip their entire fleet with Loginno’s patented AGAM devices. A panel of industry leaders will then decide who will be the lucky winner to be propelled to the forefront of marine innovation.

“The benefits to the selected shipping company are huge,” says Nir Gartzman, co-founder of theDOCK, one of the leading global maritime innovation hubs, who is also a partner in TCF, “first and foremost, the selected shipping company will be forever etched in history as the first shipping company to go full digital on their container fleet, but not only that: creating Contopia will have a significant effect on the bottom line of that shipping company, decreasing operational costs, and gaining competitive advantages because of the upgraded services they could offer their customers.”

theDOCK is part of a group of Contopia partners, all innovation leaders and market leaders in their space, such as Lloyd’s Register (leader of the classification and marine services market), Sunwoda (electronics manufacturing giant) and IAI (defense innovation leader), with more to be unveiled soon. Says Dr. Rami Pugatch, one of the leading operations researchers at the department of industrial engineering and management at BGU, itself a TCF partner: “We are going to create a unique sandbox, previously unseen in the marine sector, in which many Contopia use cases could be tested in real-life scenarios.” Some of the use cases include the onboarding of scale-less weight measurement, SOLAS VGM compliant, the development of a “Cyber Seal” certificate to replace a container’s physical seal, as well as use cases in operational optimization, supply chain management, smart cargo insurance and frictionless country borders.

“The shipping industry is ripe for disruption and for a dramatic technological upgrade,” said Shachar Tal, Loginno co-founder in a recent interview to software giant SAP. Loginno co-founder Amit Aflalo adds: “The Contopia Factor serves shipping companies with an offer they can’t refuse: a package of competitive advantages, profitability improvements and the halo of being a true innovator. I don’t know of any eligible shipping company who would miss such an opportunity.”
Source: Loginno

Will new rail freight hub attract $200m in new business?

A freight train stops traffic at a level crossing.

A new freight centre in Palmerston North is expected to provide spinoffs for Manawatū, bringing more business to the region.

The Provincial Growth Fund’s $40 million investment in KiwiRail for planning and buying land for the freight centre might be just the beginning, unlocking growth.

Spearhead Manawatū chief Craig Nash said the development would attract another $200m in investment into the facility, and create new business opportunities.

“It will have four times the productivity of the current site.

“The goal is to be the fastest and lowest-cost freight hub in New Zealand, that meets or exceeds best-in-the-world standards.”

A more efficient transport network, including a planned ring road around Palmerston North and replacement for the closed Manawatū Gorge route, would tie in with the freight centre as part of a broader transport hub.

Palmerston North's railway yards, viewed from the Milson Line overbridge.
MURRAY WILSON/STUFF
Palmerston North’s railway yards, viewed from the Milson Line overbridge.

There are already about 12,000 freight train services operating to, from, or through Palmerston North each year.

They carry a variety of freight, with pulp and timber accounting for 24 per cent of the 2.5 million tonnes that pass through.

Finished dairy products account for 19 per cent of the tonnage, with bulk wine, milk, meat and other produce making up the balance.

​KiwiRail’s sales and commercial group manager Alan Piper said freight volumes were expected to increase by 60 per cent over the next three decades, and KiwiRail wants to secure or improve its share of the market.

Rail was two-thirds more fuel-efficient than road, with every wagon on the rails meaning one less long-distance truck on the roads.

But Piper said KiwiRail would work with the trucking firms on the project, as freight arriving or being loaded on the railway still needed to be delivered by road.

“We are not competing with trucks. It’s about how we work with road transport to create the most efficient distribution centre we can.”

Palmerston North's rail freight yards are expected to move to land near the airport.
MURRAY WILSON/STUFF
Palmerston North’s rail freight yards are expected to move to land near the airport.

Piper said moving from Tremaine Ave to a location near the airport would create new opportunities for businesses and industries that relied on a quick and efficient network for moving goods around New Zealand, and the lower North Island in particular.

The northeast industrial area was ideal as it was on the main trunk railway line and near the airport.

He said the Government’s injection would pay for planning and buying land.

“And then it’s up to us. Although it might not be us paying for the buildings.”

Palmerston North's rail freight yards are on the move.
MURRAY WILSON/STUFF
Palmerston North’s rail freight yards are on the move.

Nash said having KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency working together on distribution plans was vital to ensuring the planned regional freight ring road connected well to the new site.

It would make Palmerston North more attractive for a range of industries and manufacturers.

“It will be a major change for central New Zealand, and will unlock potential for companies to move here. It will be bringing the world closer to where we are.”

 

Libyan crude to travel to New Zealand in rare move

Libyan crude will soon be making the long journey to a refinery in New Zealand in a rare export route for the North African country’s oil, which usually finds homes in Europe and sometimes Asia, trading sources said.

The Suez Fuzeyya was placed on subjects on a Zueitina/Ras Lanuf to Whangarei voyage to carry 1 million barrels of crude for a lump sum of $5 million for December 17-19 loading, sources said.

The cargo, which will include the Amna grade along with a mix of other Libyan crudes, was chartered by Azerbaijan’s Socar Trading, sources added. A source at the company declined to comment on the details of the trade.

This will be the first new time New Zealand has imported Libyan crude in almost three years, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

The crude will be processed at the 125,000 b/d Marsden Point refinery in Whangarei, operated by Refining NZ. A representative at Refining NZ was unavailable for comment.

New Zealand mainly relies on crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Russia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The country’s crude imports have been in a range of 120,000-150,000 b/d over the past year, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

GROWING DEMAND FOR LIBYAN CRUDE
Libyan oil production recovery still under threat

The appeal of Libya’s light sweet crude has broadened over the past year driven by higher production and exports, along with strong middle distillate cracks.

Asian appetite for Libyan sweet crude has also grown in the past few months as refineries in the world’s largest oil demand center start to run sweeter slates.

Libyan crude — which is typically light, contains low sulfur and yields a good amount of middle distillates and gasoline — is extremely popular among refineries in the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe.

Libyan oil production has averaged around 1.1 million b/d in the past month, nearing a five-and-a-half-month high and marking a major change of fortune from early June when fighting at key oil export terminals sent production into freefall.
Source: Platts

Ports of Auckland to build hydrogen production and refuelling facility

In a first for Auckland, Ports of Auckland has committed to build a hydrogen production and refuelling facility at its Waitemata port. The company, and project partners Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail, will invest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles including port equipment, buses and cars as part of the project.

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson said “We have an ambitious target to be a zero emission port by 2040. In order to meet that target we need a new renewable and resilient power source for heavy equipment like tugs and straddle carriers, which are difficult to power with batteries. Hydrogen could be the solution for us as it can be produced and stored on site, allows rapid refuelling, and provides greater range than batteries.”

Ports of Auckland will fund the construction of a facility which will produce hydrogen from tap water. The process uses electrolysis to split water into hydrogen (which is then stored for later use) and oxygen, which is released into the air. Demonstration vehicles will be able to fill up with hydrogen at the facility, which will be just like filling up a car with CNG or LPG. Hydrogen is used in the fuel cell to create electricity which powers the car. The only by-product of the process is water.

“If this trial is successful”, said Mr Gibson, “the technology would have a very wide application. It could help Auckland and New Zealand towards energy self-sufficiency and our emission reduction goals. Trucks, trains and ferries could also run on hydrogen – something which is already being done overseas – which would be a significant benefit for the community. Hydrogen powered vehicles are quieter and emit nothing more than clean water.”

The project partners will provide technical support and will purchase hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the project. Global hydrogen experts Arup are also helping support this project through the development, design and delivery phases.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “I welcome this trial. It is a first for New Zealand and shows Auckland’s desire to lead on climate change action and meet our ambitious emissions reduction targets.

“With 40 per cent of emissions in Auckland coming from our transport system, alternative energy sources to power vehicles, such as electric and hydrogen, are critical to meeting the target of global warming to 1.5 degrees.

“With infrastructure in place, hydrogen has the potential to power our buses and other parts of our vehicle fleet both reducing global emissions and cutting back on air pollution in Auckland such as in Queen Street where carbon levels are very high,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

Auckland Council’s Chief Executive, Stephen Town, says, “We’re proud to collaborate with the Ports of Auckland, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail on this innovative hydrogen project – a first for New Zealand. It is important for organisations like ours, as signatories to the Climate Leaders Coalition, to continue leading on climate change action; it’s also important for us to push the boundaries with ambitious projects that demonstrate leadership here in Auckland. Trialling new technology to reduce emissions and signalling a smarter economic future is important for our city’s people, places and prosperity.”

KiwiRail Acting CEO Todd Moyle says KiwiRail is delighted to be part of this ground-breaking project. “KiwiRail is committed to a sustainable future and has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. While rail is an inherently sustainable form of transport with 66% fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight, new fuel sources like hydrogen have enormous potential for the future of transport in New Zealand.

“Just weeks ago, two hydrogen-powered trains with a range of 1000km per tank began operating commercial services in Germany. If successful with passengers, there is no reason why the next development could not be hydrogen-powered freight trains.

“Joining forces with Ports of Auckland in this project will allow us to explore how KiwiRail could use this new technology as we deliver stronger connections for New Zealand.”

Auckland Transport Chief Executive Shane Ellison says AT is committed to clean technology and is very interested in the possibilities of hydrogen power. “This could be part of the answer for our fleet of buses and harbour ferries. The idea of a vehicle which only produces water as a by-product is very exciting.”

The project is currently in the planning phase, and Ports of Auckland is about to start stakeholder engagement before applying for resource consent in early 2019. The facility is planned to be operational by the end of 2019.

An aerial view of Ports of Auckland from the west.
SUPPLIED
An aerial view of Ports of Auckland from the west.

A rift has opened up between Auckland Council and the Government over how the future of the city’s port will be decided.

Mayor Phil Goff says there’s a risk that a Government-appointed working group looking at the upper North Island ports might have pre-determined whether Auckland’s council-owned port could move, and if so where.

Goff said he put a “robust” view to the working group’s chair, former Far North mayor Wayne Brown, in a private meeting last week.

A council commissioned study found shifting the vehicle import trade, could lose Auckland $1 billion
BEVAN READ/STUFF
A council commissioned study found shifting the vehicle import trade, could lose Auckland $1 billion

He said Brown’s public rejection of two potential locations identified by a council study didn’t give confidence, and the group didn’t appear to have enough time or resources to do a proper job.

The council on Tuesday approved a blunt letter to be sent to Brown, ahead of the council’s first formal meeting with the working group in just over a fortnight.

Goff favoured the eventual shift of the port from its current location on the downtown waterfront, but was unhappy with the approach being taken by the working group.

The council will tell the group that its priorities include protecting the value of Ports of Auckland, which last year paid it a $51.1 million dividend.

It is also telling the working group it wants a transparent, objective and evidence-based approach to reviewing the future of the ports in Auckland, Tauranga and Whangarei.

Auckland Council has conducted the most detailed work so far on the future of its port.

Previous mayor Len Brown funded out of his office budget the Port Future Study, which in 2016 found the port might not outgrow its current site in 50 years, but that work should begin on identifying alternatives, in case it did.

Before the 2017 elections New Zealand First advocated an early shift of the vehicle-import trade from Auckland to Northland’s port.

The coalition government including New Zealand First took a bigger picture approach, setting up the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group, in line with a request from Auckland Council.

New Zealand First MP and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones who oversees the working group, has since been vocal on matters relating to the future of Auckland’s port.

At the start of November Jones said he would do all he could to head-off a planned multi-storey carpark building planned by Ports of Auckland, to house vehicles arriving in the port.

“Public statements have created the impression of pre-determination,” said the council in a letter to the chair of the working group Wayne Brown.

Brown has made public comment favouring a move to Northland, including an opinion column published in November 2017 before being appointed to chair the group.

“Imagine the Auckland waterfront without used cars getting the best views,” Brown wrote.

“Watch for self-justifying job-saving promises from Ports of Auckland to fend off any sensible moves like Sydney has made keeping the harbour just for cruise liners and sending cargo to Wollongong and Newcastle.”

The council’s letter pointed to comments by Brown.

“Indicating a strong preference for relocation of some or all of POAL activities to Northport prior to any analysis is unhelpful,” said the letter which Goff will sign.

“Any plans to move all or some of the Port’s functions requires the concurrence of its owners, the people of Auckland, through Auckland Council,” said the letter.

“I’ve already said to the chair, we’ve put a lot of work into two future options (Manukau Harbour and Firth of Thames) and you’ve dismissed this out of hand, which gives us no confidence,” Goff told today’s planning committee meeting.

The council has spelled out 10 areas it wants the working group to examine closely.

These include the feasible capacity of all upper North Island ports, as well as the climate change impacts of moving freight to and from the ports.

It wanted work done on the social and community impacts of any change, and how and when a future new port would be funded.

The council will have its first meeting with the government’s working group on December 13.

 

Witness: Truck driver’s licences for bribes – no need to turn up for test

Daryl Govender and Mohammed Feroz are charged with taking bribes in exchange for driver's licences and are on trial at the Manukau District Court
JASON DORDAY/STUFF
Daryl Govender and Mohammed Feroz are charged with taking bribes in exchange for driver’s licences and are on trial at the Manukau District Court

A witness says corrupt testing officers would charge bad drivers extra but still issue them with a full driver’s licence.

Lovepreet Brar has admitted one representative charge of obtaining by deception in relation to the Auckland case and is now a Crown witness.

He gave evidence on Tuesday at the Manukau District Court where Mohammed Feroz has denied 73 charges of obtaining by deception and Daryl Pregasen Govender has denied 17 charges.

Brar said bad drivers would pay an extra $50 to $150 on top of their bribe payment if they were a particularly bad driver or if there was a fault with their car, for example a faulty brake light.

Other extra charges would be demanded if the applicant didn’t turn up to their test and corrupt testing officers had to complete the paperwork themselves.

Brar said he was recruited into the scheme in late 2014 while he worked in customer service at the AA Meadowlands branch.

He would send text messages out to friends and associates, alerting them to when the corrupt testing officers would be available.

Brar would act as the intermediary – taking money from the applicants in cash and deposits into his bank account.

The typical cost for a full drivers licence was around $300 but a heavy truck licence could cost as much as $2500.

Brar said Feroz would sometimes ask him to tell the bribe-paying truck licence applicants to turn up to the AA office in a vest to make it look like they were legitimate truck drivers.

“Because it’s a truck licence, they said it’s a big risk for them and they’re passing the person without the person even coming to the test … and they just charge more.”

There were also extra charges if the applicant didn’t turn up for the test.

Brar said testing officers would sometimes complete the paperwork, including applicant signatures in the staff toilets.

Crown prosecutor David Stevens took Brar through various transactions that showed money going into Brar’s bank account shortly before they sat a test and sometimes extra payments were made afterwards.

In some cases the transactions weren’t even disguised on bank records and merely referenced as “car money”.

One of the transactions related to a person who lived with a cousin of Brar’s in Wellington. The applicant didn’t have to leave their home in the capital but were given a driver’s licence.

Brar said Feroz was flexible in his pricing, charging Brar’s friends as little as $200 but Govender was different.

“Govender never do it for free or less money. Feroz sometimes did it for less but Govender is quite strict he is like: ‘Rule is rule, you have to pay this much’.”

He also gave evidence of the cut he would take.

“Daryl [Govender] always want me to keep $50 or $100. With Feroz it was alright. Sometimes he give me more or less. Govender was quite strict, he was like: ‘Bro, I pass the client, you keep your $50’.”

​Earlier Brar told the court how he had been recruited into the scheme.

He said he was working at the AA Meadowlands branch as a customer services representative in 2014 when a friend told him what was going on.

“He said: ‘Bro, you know you can get a licence here for $80’?”

His friend identified Feroz as the man behind the scheme, Brar said. Feroz was working out of the same AA branch office as a driving testing officer.

Brar said he told his friend “bro, this is wrong”.

He approached Feroz a short time later and the pair met at a mall food court close-by to talk.

“He explained he’s been doing it for quite a while.”

Brar said Feroz told him he had been caught once and NZTA had investigated but nothing had happened.

“He said if you bring your [Punjabi] community people, we’ll pass them.”

Brar said Feroz offered him a third of the bribe payment for every applicant he introduced to the scheme and gave an example where the bribe would cost $300 and he would receive $100.

Brar also recalled Feroz approaching him, telling him he had “good news” and that Govender had joined the scheme.

Soon after there was a meeting between the three in Feroz’s van, parked at the back of the AA branch. Govender convinced them to raise their prices.

The group would communicate by phone apps – Viber and Whatsapp – to avoid being caught, he said.

Brar said he would often leave money for Feroz under a cup in the staff room but Govender was a lot more cautions.

He said he sometimes gave Govender his cut in the staff toilets but also often drove to his home in south Auckland in the evenings to hand the money over in person.

The Crown’s case is that the bribes for car licences were typically $350 but more money was demanded if the applicant didn’t want to turn up to the test or they wanted a heavy vehicle licence.

Most applicants had failed at least once but in some cases the applicants had failed five times.

Often the applicants lived a long way from the AA Meadowlands branch and would sit their tests early, to increase their chances of getting a corrupt testing officer.

The trial, before Judge Mina Wharepouri, is in its second week.

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