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23rd September 2017

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Northwestern Motorway ‘positively begs’ for a higher speed limit

West Auckland driver Bevan Gracie was disappointed to learn he could only drive up to 80kmh on the upgraded, four-lane ...
DAVID WHITE/STUFF
West Auckland driver Bevan Gracie was disappointed to learn he could only drive up to 80kmh on the upgraded, four-lane Northwestern Motorway.

Amidst calls to slash the speed limit on many New Zealand roads, fuming West Aucklanders are campaigning to go faster on one of theirs.

They’ve set up an online petition to get the four lane Northwestern Highway’s speed limit back up to 100kmh, where it was before the billion dollar roadworks for the Waterview Tunnel began.

Construction has been completed but an 80kmh speed limit, considered by many to be temporary, was made permanent — a decision drivers of the sleek new road have deemed a “ludicrous” recipe for road rage.

Much of one of Auckland's newly upgraded motorways is too slow for many motorists.

JILL ROBB/STUFF
Much of one of Auckland’s newly upgraded motorways is too slow for many motorists.  Especially as motorists further south are poised to legally drive 110kmh for the first time.

 

In April, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) announced that 80kmh would be the permanent speed limit for the 8km stretch of highway between Rosebank Rd and Spaghetti Junction, spanning the Waterview Tunnel’s entrance.

West Auckland's Saten Sharma, 50, says the 80kmh speed limit on the northwestern motorway is "frustrating".

CALLUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF
West Auckland’s Saten Sharma, 50, says the 80kmh speed limit on the northwestern motorway is “frustrating”.

Long time Westie Bevan Gracie said driving down the Northwestern left him fed up now, and that he was sceptical the lower limit would improve safety.

“I think the frustration you feel going so slowly on that road makes it more dangerous,” he said.

His fellow West Auckland motorist Saten Sharma, who signed the petition, said driving 80kmh on the newly-upgraded road “feels like you’re not even moving”.

The Great North Rd interchange heading west along the VSL causeway should be 100kmh, Graham Wakefield says.

JASON DORDAY/STUFF
The Great North Rd interchange heading west along the VSL causeway should be 100kmh, Graham Wakefield says.

“On weekends, the most frustrating thing is it’s empty, and you’re still doing 80kmh,” he said.

“Are we saying our drivers are so unqualified they can’t drive close to 100kmh on the motorway?”

The petition to raise the new speed, which had more than 10,000 signatures to date and would get submitted to NZTA if it reached 15,000, posed the question of why a “brand new four lane motorway” could not handle a higher speed limit.

Sharma says the motorway 80kmh is just 10kmh more than some residential areas and the motorway was not one.

CALLUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF
Sharma says the motorway 80kmh is just 10kmh more than some residential areas and the motorway was not one.

NZTA’s system design manager Brett Gliddon justified it as “worldwide best practice” to have 80kmh on approaches to tunnels, to reduce the risk of crashes.

He said the agency had been “monitoring the operational and safety performance” of the network since the tunnel opened. However, he couldn’t comment on whether the petition might impact change.

MOTORWAY SPEEDS GOING UP ELSEWHERE

Last month Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe​ announced that speed limits on some of the country’s motorways would be raised by the end of the year.

The Tauranga Eastern Link and parts of the Waikato Expressway would be the first roads that motorists can travel on at 110kmh.

Macindoe said higher speed limits would be “both safe and appropriate” on roads with at least two lanes in each direction, a median barrier, no significant curves, and no access to neighbouring properties.

The variable speed limit on SH16, in green, has a maximum limit of 80kmh, as does the blue.

NZTA
The variable speed limit on SH16, in green, has a maximum limit of 80kmh, as does the blue.

HORSES FOR COURSES

However, calls for speed reductions on many New Zealand roads remain.

Earlier this year, police advocated for the speed limit on the Coromandel’s State Highway 25A to be lowered from 100kmh to 80kmh. Thames roading sergeant Jim Corbett said annual crash tallies of 70 or more were not uncommon on the road, and that high speeds were a contributing factor.

NZTA's system design manager Brett Gliddon says the agency takes on all customer feedback.

SUPPLIED
NZTA’s system design manager Brett Gliddon says the agency takes on all customer feedback.

Residents associations in Canterbury have also called for the same speed reduction on some rural roads in their area, citing safety concerns. Last year, Christchurch City Council cut its inner city speed limit down to 30kmh for most streets.

Cantabrian mother of two Lucinda Rees has been campaigning for speed limits outside schools to be lowered to 40kmh “nationally, across the board” for the last ten years.

She said she was against speed limits being raised on any New Zealand road — including four lane motorways — because the “education and standard of Kiwi drivers just isn’t up to it”.

“I think raising speed limit will just make the road toll even higher,” she said.

But West Auckland driver Graham Wakefield said the “ludicrous” 80kmh section of the Northwestern needed to be moved back up to 100kmh.

“The quality of construction and the number of lanes each way positively begs for it,” he said.​

Iwi at odds over East West Link

Auckland hapū Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has lashed out at Hauraki tribal support for the East West Link in Auckland.

An image of the completed East West roading project.

An image of the completed East West Link roading project, which would include a four-lane road, cycleway and walkway, between Penrose and Onehunga. Graphic: Supplied / NZTA

The Environmental Protection Authority has been holding a board of inquiry hearing over the past 10 weeks to hear public submissions on the NZ Transport Agency’s plan to build the four-lane highway between Penrose and Onehunga in Auckland.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei spokesperson Ngarimu Blair said he was encouraged Manukau Harbour iwi were united in their fight to protect the Manukau and Te Hopua a Rangi from further destruction.

He said the project would destroy 25 hectares of habitat for rare and endangered species along the Mangere inlet.

“It angers us … that Hauraki-based iwi such as Ngāti Maru and Ngāti Pāoa who are not ahi kaa here submitted in support or remained neutral on the motorway.

“This is the problem when boundaries are not respected as NZTA conveniently give equal weight to the korero of iwi who do not live here.

“Those iwi should simply leave this to us as we are the ones left dealing with the consequences of this roading.”

Ngāti Maru spokesperson Paul Majurey said Mr Blair was attacking NZTA for engaging with all mana whenua on the roading project.

“It is a matter of record that Ngāti Maru lodged a neutral submission on the project given there are outstanding issues over the protection of spiritual and cultural values and wahi tapu.”

Mr Majurey said Ngāti Maru was one of the 13 iwi of the Tāmaki Collective that are recognised in the collective settlement deed and collective settlement legislation with outstanding claims in relation to the Manukau Harbour.

He said there were also Tāmaki tribes who lodged submissions in support of the roading project, such as Ngāti Tamaoho.

The hearing is due to end on 15 September.

Experts plan world’s biggest sailing cargo ship

The Quadriga sustainable shipping project aims to build the world’s largest cargo sailing ship, which could carry up to 2,000 cars.

Quadriga, which was first announced by German firm Sailing Cargo, aims to become the world’s first and largest sailing cargo ship. UK-based marine classification specialist Lloyd’s Register announced last week that it has joined the project.

Lloyd’s Register wrote on its website that the vessel will be equipped with four DynaRig masts, which are modern versions of sailing ships’ square-rigged masts. It is expected to operate on hybrid propulsion with sails and diesel-electric engines. In addition, when carrying peak loads, the vessel will have an optional battery system.

The vessel, which is 558-feet long, will be capable of sailing at between 10 and 12 knots. It is expected to reach 14-16 knots in the next few years, according to Lloyd’s Register.

“It’s a very exciting initiative to be involved in. It’s always motivating for us to be involved from the concept stage of any project, especially those that involve innovative technology and new ways of doing things,” said Nico Dettmann, Lloyd’s Register’s marketing and sales manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Marine & Offshore, in a statement. “We have a long history of working with and supporting our clients to bring their new and novel concepts, safely and robustly from inception to operational reality.”

Lloyd’s Register believes that wind-assisted propulsion can provide realistic renewable power in the shipping industry. According to the organization’s study Low Carbon Pathways 2050, in order to reach the Paris Agreement’s low emissions requirements, low-carbon ships will be necessary.

“We must do the right thing for the future of our industry; the Quadriga project combines traditionally proven systems with cutting edge technology and aims to provide a solution to reduce CO2 emissions,” said Uwe Köhler, founder of the Quadriga project.
Source: FoxNews

CMA CGM to build world’s largest container ships at Chinese yards

French shipping group CMA CGM plans to build nine of the world’s largest container ships at two Chinese shipyards, the China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co confirmed that it and its sister yard Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co, had received a letter of intent from CMA CGM for the ships, which would be capable of carrying 22,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU), the newspaper said.

The final order was subject to board approval from both sides, the newspaper said. Both yards are owned by state-run China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

Should they be built, CMA CGM’s 22,000 TEU vessels will leapfrog the OOCL Hong Kong to take the crown of the world’s largest container ships. The OOCL Hong Kong has a carrying capacity of 21,413 TEU.

Global container shipping lines in recent years have been competing to build the biggest ships in order to gain economies of scale to slash shipping costs. However, such mega-ships are also being blamed for contributing to the overcapacity glut plaguing the container industry.
Source: Reuters

OOCL Japan named, sister vessel OOCL Hong Kong achieved a Guinness World Records Title

OOCL announced that Hull number H2174, the third in their line of six 21 thousand TEU class containerships, has been named as the OOCL Japan at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard.

Among industry friends, colleagues and business partners at the naming event, Mr. Andy Tung, Chief Executive Officer of OOCL, thanked all those who contributed to the success of the OOCL Japan, particularly the shipyard for all their support in their contribution to OOCL’s fleet of 21,413 TEU vessels.

“Samsung Heavy Industries is one of leading shipbuilders in the world, and we have always valued their level of commitment to quality and the versatility to tackle on new challenges, just as we are doing now to build these incredible 21 thousand TEU class vessels, the largest containerships in the world to date,” said Mr. Tung.

In fact, this would be the second time that OOCL is breaking records. The last time OOCL set a Guinness World Records title was for the largest containership back in April 2003 with the OOCL Shenzhen, an 8,063 TEU vessel.

“Once again, we are very delighted to be setting yet another record with our long-time business partner because earlier this week, we have been confirmed by the Guinness World Records that the OOCL Hong Kong has officially been recorded as the world’s biggest containership by carry capacity at 21,413 TEU.”

The OOCL Japan will be serving the Asia-Europe trade lane on the LL1 service and her port rotation is: Shanghai / Ningbo / Xiamen / Yantian / Singapore / via Suez Canal / Felixstowe / Rotterdam / Gdansk / Wilhelmshaven / Felixstowe / via Suez Canal / Singapore / Yantian / Shanghai in a 77-day round trip.

OOCL is pleased to say that our network operations with our alliance partners are continuing as planned and the new products, including the LL1 service, that were launched in April are settling in well.

Commenting on the timing of the deployment of our 21,413 TEU vessels this year, Mr Tung said: “The economic growth fundamentals continue to show further improvement so far this year, and under the new industry landscape, we are seeing signs of a stronger rebound after witnessing significant volume growth, increased liftings, and more sustainable rate levels that are positively impacting revenues in the first half of 2017. We are pleased to be rolling out these new vessels under the current environment, and look forward to solid demand growth on a much stronger trajectory.”
Source: OOCL

S. Korean shipping sector still reeling from Hanjin fall

South Korea’s shipping industry is still reeling from the fallout from Hanjin Shipping Co.’s bankruptcy last year as the remaining companies have yet to fill the vacuum left by Hanjin, once the nation’s top player, analysts said Monday.

Hanjin Shipping, previously the world’s seventh-largest shipper, was put under court receivership in September last year as its creditors rejected a self-rescue plan and refused to save the failing business before it was declared bankrupt in early February.

Hanjin Shipping, established in 1977, and local shippers had been groaning under severe financial strain because of falling freight rates stemming from an oversupply of ships and a protracted slump in the world economy.

Hanjin’s bankruptcy sent shock waves through the whole shipping industry, but some rival companies inwardly welcomed it as a rare opportunity to expand their market presence.

One year after Hanjin sought court protection from creditors, however, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. and other domestic shipping companies are still struggling to make their presence felt in the global market, despite some signs of a recovery in their business such as rising freight rates.

Some skeptics even voice concerns that South Korea, once a shipping powerhouse, could degenerate into a minnow on the global stage without concerted efforts to hone its competitive edge.

Following the court receivership, Hanjin’s vessels and routes were sold to its domestic and global rivals, with its global network, including regional headquarters and agencies across the world, fading out of existence.

Before the failure, Hanjin operated a fleet of 100 container vessels and 44 bulk carriers, ranking the container line among the world’s top seven players.

As domestic financial authorities wished, Hyundai Merchant Marine and SM Line Corp. acquired some of the Hanjin fleet, but its core assets — nine vessels with capacities of about 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) — were sold to Maersk Line of Denmark and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) of Switzerland.

Domestic shipping companies have also failed to purchase all 71 global routes operated by Hanjin. SM Line bought 50 U.S.-Asian and inter-Asian routes, but the remaining routes were closed.

Hyundai Merchant Marine and SM Line took over about 10 Hanjin container terminals at home and abroad, but its core flagship terminal in New York’s Long Beach was sold to Maersk.

An industry insider expressed regret over the local financial authorities’ decision on Hanjin’s bankruptcy. “Hanjin had a large amount of tangible and intangible assets, and some say it will be impossible to form a shipper of Hanjin’s scale again,” he said. “It is regrettable for the financial authorities to decide on a bankruptcy from the financial perspective without fully considering the characteristics of the shipping industry.”

Despite South Korea’s efforts to revive the shipping industry, domestic players are said to have a long way to go to catch up with global leaders in consideration of various indicators.

The combined capacity of domestic shippers catering to overseas routes — Hanjin and Hyundai Merchant Marine — stood at 1.05 million TEUs as of the end of August last year, but the number for Hyundai Merchant Marine and SM Line plunged to 390,000 TEUs a year later.

The tumble strikes a sharp contrast to global leaders’ fierce competition to increase capacity through mergers and acquisitions and placing new orders for container ships in the wake of Hanjin’s bankruptcy, according to analysts.

“Before Hanjin’s insolvency, there were growing calls that top local players Hanjin and Hyundai Merchant Marine should merge to enhance competitiveness before their financial health worsens further,” a market analyst said on the customary condition of anonymity. “In retrospect, it leaves much to be desired.”

Hyundai Merchant Marine has an ambitious plan to emerge as a global shipping line with a capacity of 1 million TEUs by placing new ship orders, but industry watchers say it can’t attain the goal immediately since it usually takes three to four years to take delivery of a ship after an order is placed.

On top of the decreased capacity, the local shippers’ share of U.S.-Asia routes has also dropped over the past year. Hanjin and Hyundai Merchant Marine had a combined share of 10.9 percent on the routes as of the end of June last year, with Hyundai Merchant Marine holding 5.8 percent a year later.

With the local shipping industry struggling in the wake of Hanjin’s bankruptcy, the South Korean government is striving to forge measures that can help domestic shippers get back on their feet.

In October last year, the government unveiled a package of steps aimed at strengthening the shipping industry’s competitiveness. The Moon Jae-in government, which began in May, set the establishment of a shipping powerhouse as one of its 100 policy goals.

The Moon administration will also provide support to a business alliance that Hyundai Merchant Marine and 13 other shippers launched early this month to work together to develop new shipping routes and operate overseas terminals. It also plans to set up a state-funded maritime promotion corporation by June next year.

Experts, however, caution that it remains to be seen whether such measures can bear fruit. “The government needs to pay closer attention to demands from the shipping industry,” a source said. “It should come up with a mid- and long-term aid package, given the traits of the shipping industry.”
Source: Yonhap

Port boss vs Winston Peters: Carbon emission spike cited

Ports of Auckland’s chief says Winston Peters’ plans to shift the business to Northland would cause a massive carbon emission spike, indicating nearly 300,000 motor vehicles now imported annually would have to be trucked south where most are sold.

Tony Gibson said that the NZ First leader’s plan announced today would have a negative environmental impact.

The port’s annual report out today showed 297,383 car and light commercial vehicles arrived at the port in the June 30 year, up 19 per cent. That means 5718 vehicles a week in the June year, or 814/day.

Gibson said transporting cars from Northport near Marsden Pt would see carbon emissions spiral.

“If cars went to Northport, there will be 21,500 more tonnes of carbon emissions which is more than our total carbon emissions now at the Ports of Auckland,” Gibson said, citing an environmental study and the port’s big drive to cut its carbon emissions.

“What do you think happens to the cars when they arrive at Northport? They would have to be put on trucks to go to Auckland,” Gibson said.

He was reacting to Peters’ “cast-iron commitment” to move container operations from the port if his party was in a position of influence after the election. Peters wants the port moved by 2027, opening up 77ha of prime waterfront land for public use and the development of a new cruise ship terminal. Peters has long campaigned for a rail link to Northport – vehicles might not be moved on road but rail.

His plan would stop vehicle deliveries by the end of 2019 and free up Captain Cook Wharf ahead of the America’s Cup.

Gibson also reiterated the port’s already-announced plans to build a parking building on Bledisloe Wharf, saying more details would be out around mid-October when a new study was released.

“That will have all the details but it will be between 1500 and 2000 [carparks]. It will be about four to five levels,” Gibson said, having a relatively compact footprint to minimise land use.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the waterfront infrastructure.”

The Big Read: Roads v Rail – political parties at the crossroads on transport

The Big Read: Roads v Rail – political parties at the crossroads on transport – NZ Herald

The wheels are turning in voters’ minds as they consider which party offers the best deal on transport. Photo / Nick Reed

National has returned to a familiar theme with a $10 billion plan to build 10 major highways around the country, while Labour and the Greens have latched onto modern trams in Auckland and long distance trains between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

Also in the mix is NZ First, with a strong emphasis on upgrading heavy rail, including improved access to Northland and its port at Marsden Pt, trains to Auckland Airport and re-opening the Napier to Gisborne line.

The most visible battleground is Auckland, where congestion is choking the city at a cost of $2b a year and people are flocking to trains, buses and ferries to travel to work. Transport, and the crucial role it plays in housing and growth, is on everyone’s mind – and don’t politicians know it.

National’s record in office dealing with Auckland transport is mixed, from rubbishing the City Rail Link to embracing it, the crazy decision to upgrade the Northwestern Motorway without a busway and completing the $1.4b Waterview tunnel – a huge pre-election success story.

In fact, National is using figures showing the tunnel has halved travel times from the city to the airport to stick with cars and buses to the airport in the foreseeable future, while other parties argue over trains or modern trams along the route.

Trams running on light rail along Dominion Rd to the airport. Source / Auckland Transport

Jacinda Ardern’s first public appearance as Labour leader was to announce the party would spend $3b to build tram lines from the Auckland CBD to the airport and West Auckland within 10 years, and complete the first leg of the airport route to Mt Roskill by 2021.

This would be followed by light rail to the North Shore in the second decade.

The Greens have gone one step further and promised to build the full 21km tram route from the CBD to the airport by 2021. They are also promising light rail from the Wellington railway station to Newtown by 2025 and Kilbirnie and the airport by 2027, and a wholly electric bus fleet for the capital city.

Labour and the Greens would allow Auckland Council to introduce a regional petrol tax – possibly 10 cents a litre to raise $100m a year – to hop on board a more ambitious public transport programme for the city.

The two parties have adopted the tram policy from lobby group Greater Auckland, which has also persuaded them to adopt the first stage of its ‘Regional Rapid Rail’ policy for a $20m trial train service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

If it’s a success, Labour and the Greens will invest in stages two and three of Rapid Regional Rail, delivering trains that can travel at 160km/h, new rail lines to Rotorua and Cambridge, and a tunnel through the Bombay Hills to reduce travel times from Auckland to Hamilton to 70 minutes.

Labour’s decision to adopt Greater Auckland’s agenda is blatant pitch into Green territory, but it doesn’t bother Greens transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter, who believes voters know who is more committed to implementing the policies, and will vote Green to be sure Labour follows through.

The Greens have also made a pitch for the youth and student vote by promising these groups free public transport costing $70m to $80m a year, which they say is less than 1km of new highways being built by National.

Not everyone is on board Greater Auckland’s agenda, and debate still rages within transport circles over trams versus trains to the airport.

NZ First’s plan is for a 7.5km rail line from Puhinui to provide a 30-minute journey by train from central Auckland to the airport terminal – part of its “Railways of National Importance” programme.

NZ First wants to reopen the Napier to Gisborne rail line.

NZ First wants to reopen the Napier to Gisborne rail line.

The party’s transport spokesman, Denis O’Rourke, says NZ First is not afraid to intervene and invest heavily in rail. The party has 13 immediate investment priorities, including upgrading rail in Northland to allow containers and cars to be moved from Northport to an inland port at Kumeu, and extending commuter rail to Kumeu and Huapai in West Auckland.

The Maori Party has proposed a new “IwiRail” network for freight, tourism and regional employment. The party believes the project has the capacity to add $1b into the regions and will be asking their potential coalition partner to invest $350m.

The plan involves connecting Gisborne to the East Coast Main Trunk Line in Kawerau and bringing back the mothballed Napier to Gisborne rail line to create 1250 jobs on the East Coast.

National’s focus is unashamedly on roads while recognising rail has a role to play. It is centred on extending its “Road of National Significance” – begun in 2009 and largely complete – into a new set of major roading projects.

Motorists would get a four-lane highway from Auckland to Whangarei, the $1.8b east-west link through Auckland’s industrial belt and other highway projects throughout the country.

National has also come up with a $2.6b election transport package for Auckland that includes building a new highway alongside the Southern Motorway costing $955m and $615m for the Ameti transport project in southeast Auckland.

The $1.8 billion east-west link through Auckland's industrial belt. Source / New Zealand Transport Agency

The $1.8 billion east-west link through Auckland’s industrial belt. Source / New Zealand Transport Agency

That’s not to say, National is all about roads and Labour and the Greens are all about public transport and long distance trains.

National has spent $1.7b electrifying rail in Auckland, it is paying half the cost of the $3.4b city rail link, committed $267m to rail over the next three years, a third rail track on the busy southern line between Westfield and Wiri, and $835m for a Northwestern Busway.

Labour has announced it will increase regional transport roading projects from $140m to $280m a year, and will proceed with the east-west link in Auckland, albeit a scaled back version of National’s $1.8b scheme.

One area all the main parties agree on is the need to improve cycling and walking in our cities, with National keen to build on a $333m urban cycleway programme and Labour promising to pay for the $30m SkyPath cycle and walkway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Transport policies

National

A strong focus on roads by extending its “Roads of National Significance” to 10 new projects costing $10b, including a four-lane highway from Wellsford to Whangarei and the $1.8b east-west link through Auckland’s industrial belt.

A $2.6b package for Auckland, including a new highway from Manukau to Drury, $615m for the Ameti transport project in southeast Auckland and a $835m Northwestern busway.

National favours cars and buses to the airport in the foreseeable future.

A $267m rail package includes $130m to electrify rail from Papakura to Pukekohe and $37m for Wellington, including double tracking the Hutt Valley line between Upper Hutt and Trentham.

A target of one in three electric or electric hybrid cars in the Government’s fleet of 15,500 cars by 2021.

Labour

Adopted the policy of lobby group Greater Auckland for a congestion free network in Auckland.

The main focus is $3b to light rail for trams from the Auckland CBD to the airport and West Auckland within 10 years, and complete the first leg of the airport route to Mt Roskill by 2021.

This would be followed by light rail to the North Shore in the second decade.

Allow Auckland Council to introduce a regional petrol tax – possibly 10 cents a litre to raise $100m a year.

Adopted the Greater Auckland policy for Regional Rapid Rail, starting with a $20m trial train service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

If successful, invest in stages two and three of Rapid Regional Rail with trains that can travel at 160km/h, new rail lines to Rotorua and Cambridge, and a tunnel through the Bombay Hills to reduce travel times from Auckland to Hamilton to 70 minutes.

Fund the $30m SkyPath cycle and walking path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland is the main battleground for transport at this election. Photo / Peter Meecham

Auckland is the main battleground for transport at this election. Photo / Peter Meecham

Green Party

Free public transport for students and anyone under the age of 19.

Like Labour, adopt the policy of lobby group Greater Auckland for a congestion free network in Auckland, but put it on a faster track.

Build light rail for trams from the Auckland CBD to the airport by 2021, and light rail from Wellington railway station to the airport by 2027.

Light rail towards Helensville and dedicated rapid busways to Howick and Botany.

A new track on the southern line to speed up commuter and freight trains.

Adopt the Greater Auckland policy for Regional Rapid Rail, starting with a $20m trial train service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

If successful, invest in stages two and three of Rapid Regional Rail with trains that can travel at 160km/h, new rail lines to Rotorua and Cambridge, and a tunnel through the Bombay Hills to reduce travel times from Auckland to Hamilton to 70 minutes.

Allow Auckland Council to introduce a regional petrol tax – possibly 10 cents a litre to raise $100m a year.

NZ First

Emphasis on rail on “Railways of National Importance” and potential for modern tram routes in Auckland over the long term.

Wants to upgrade Northland rail, including a line from Oakleigh to Northport; reopening the Napier to Gisborne rail line and progressive electrification of the main trunk line for improved freight and passenger trains with extensions to Dunedin and Tauranga.

Build a commuter rail link between Swanson, Kumeu and Huapai; heavy rail to Auckland Airport.

Toll state highways in Auckland. Opposed to a regional petrol tax.

Investigate Northport taking some of Ports of Auckland business at Marsden Pt from an upgraded freight rail link to an inland port at Kumeu.

Maori Party

A new “IwiRail” network for freight, tourism and regional employment with the capacity to add $1b into the regions. Ask a potential coalition partner to invest $350m.

Connect Gisborne to the East Coast Main Trunk Line in Kawerau and bring back the mothballed Napier to Gisborne rail line to create 1250 jobs on the East Coast.

IwiRail would receive $100m a year for regional line upgrades and maintenance.

Act Party

Increase the use of funding options to better reflect the principle of users pay, such as tolls on new and existing roads, congestion charges, peak time charges and preferential lanes.

Revenue from tolls should be offset by cuts in petrol taxes.

Technology and entrepreneurship should be encouraged in transport, including ride-sharing, car-sharing, congestion charging and high occupancy toll lanes.

Encourage private sector investments in roads. Review regulation to ensure the viability of autonomous vehicles.

Opportunities Party

Transport is very simple, says deputy leader Jeff Simmons, “politicians should get their grubby hands off it” and leave it to New Zealand Transport Agency to decide on a cost-benefit basis taking into account carbon emissions and accidents.

Anti-cartel legislation good for Kiwi exporters

While the global shipping industry has seen massive consolidation, the ships are getting larger.

Anti-cartel legislation has removed international shipping liners previous exemption from New Zealand’s commerce watchdog.

But a last minute change the the amendment to the Commerce Act granted them left wiggle room for international shipping companies to continue cutting costs by sharing vessels.

Shipping companies are still able to exchange, sell, hire or lease space on international liners under the law, according to counsel at Chapman Tripp law firm.

New legislation gives exporters the right to complain to the commerce commission if shipping liners are engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

The New Zealand Shippers’ Council chairman Michael Knowles estimated four to five shipping companies would operate one service and share spaces on each other’s ships.

He welcomed the legislation, having lobbied for the exception, and said the previous regulation was “toothless” and allowed shipping companies to fix prices, collude, and engage in anti-competitive behaviour.

“Shipping was the only major industry that was outside of the Commerce Commission’s rules so now that’s changed.”

“It’s future-proofing in an environment where there’s been massive consolidation.”

Knowles said the number of international lines has shrunk from about 20 to 12 over the past four years, with another possible two liners being “taken down” in the near future.

He said it was because the shipping companies had been losing a lot of money and they needed to control capacity.

Commercial appliance exporter Guy Stewart said there was “limited choice” when it came to shipping across the Tasman, but with shipping to Singapore and China there was more choice.

Stewart is the managing director of export company Skope Industries.

“Most ships will come to New Zealand full and return empty,” Stewart said.

The coordination of shipping companies minimises the amount of empty space on ships coming in and out of New Zealand harbours, ultimately saving companies money on the cost of transport and piracy-prevention measures.

In 2016, Ocean’s Beyond Piracy estimated the global cost of piracy was about $1.7 billion. The shipping industry bore roughly 80 percent of those costs, the group’s analysis showed.

Over the last six months there have been 87 armed piracy attacks on ships worldwide, with instances highest in Singaporean waters. Piracy has been steadily shrinking as more money and resources have gone towards combating it, though the cost to mitigate risk remains high.

While the $500 billion global shipping industry is seeing a massive consolidation, the mammoth container ships transporting $7 trillion dollars of goods around the globe are getting larger.

Asia’s largest container line, Chinese company Cosco Shippings Holdings has said it would pay over $6 billion for its largest national rival, a company famous for owning the world’s largest vessel, a carrier more than twice as long as Auckland’s Sky Tower.

Official figures show export numbers in New Zealand have steadily declined from 13,305 in 2012 to 11,898 at the end of 2106, a decrease of 11 percent.

Though certain industries are optimistic as their products gain value.

A Ministry for Primary Industries report expects export prices to continue to improve due to growing demand in the seafood sector.

Seafood New Zealand predicts exports will hit a record $2 billion annually by 2020.

Knowles said rates for New Zealand exporters were “probably at an all time low” which he said was a prolonged product of the global financial crisis when global trade “collapsed”.

“The Shippers’ council does support having sustainable shipping practices, but we also want the right to complain against anti-competitive behaviour, same as any other business.”

Knowles said the last minute changes had been “critical” for members.

“We are delighted that the Bill, now finally passed…[provides] protection from anti-competitive behaviour without dismantling those practices that are vital to the smooth and efficient operation of the shipping industry.”

– Stuff

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