Coalition deals

As at 24/10 we have very little detailed information about the nature of the transport related items in the coalition deal Labour/NZ First, and the confidence and supply deal Labour/Greens.

So far the key points relate to:

• Rail: Significant investment in regional rail. – [We’re not sure exactly what this means]

• Auckland Port: Commissioning a feasibility study on moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport – [It’s hard to imagine this flying – Auckland won’t want to lose control of their own destiny in a port/shipping sense, and it’s hard to imagine the Greens being happy with an increase in carbon miles for the transport from Northport to Auckland.  Not to mention the absolutely massive cost to upgrade rail from Northland to Auckland]

• Transport: Investigate a Green Transport Card to reduce the cost of public transport for low-income people and welfare recipients, prioritise National Land Transport Fund towards rail infrastructure as well as cycling and walking, cancel Auckland’s East-West motorway link, work towards light rail from Auckland city to airport [The East-West cancellation is a shame, and we’re surprised that the NZ First preference for heavy rail to the airport wasn’t adopted in the Labour/Green deal]

WISTA launches its new mentoring programme

Cubic is pleased to support WISTA in New Zealand.  The following is a notification from WISTA about their new mentoring programme.


WISTA stands for Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association. WISTA New Zealand has over 80 members including 9 corporate members. It is part of the international WISTA network which has branches in 40 countries. WISTA New Zealand is an inclusive organisation which hosts bi-monthly events for its members and other attendees.

On 1 November 2017, it will be launching its Mentoring programme.

WISTA New Zealand thanks Cubic for its support which has enabled it to put this programme together. For more information visit, or contact

WISTA Event Wednesday 1 November

We have received the following notification from WISTA.

Wista New Zealand is launching a Mentoring Programme. We are delighted to help women develop professionally within our industry. Attend this event if you love your career and want to grow with it.

In this coming WISTA event, we are very fortunate to have Lena Gray join us to share and propel us forward with a powerful presentation on WOW (Women Optimising Women) that showcases the inaugural WISTA NZ Mentoring Program/Framework.  

Lena is a passionate executive coach and trainer with over 15 years of experience. She is a highly sought after human performance, leadership and transformational coach, and speaker nationally and internationally.

Her expert use of Neuro-Semantics, Neuro Synergy, and NLP coupled with her easy going personality enables her to instantly connect and reshape the meanings we hold in our life, which either hold us back or propel us powerfully into the future.

We look forward to seeing you there! Registration is essential. Please see the information box below.

Please come and join us for this exciting and rare opportunity for you to learn how to unleash the potential in you from this  international industry expert. This is an evening not to be missed.

As usual, there will be time for networking before and after the presentation. Nibbles and drinks will be provided.   Remember, if you wish to bring a (male or female) colleague or customer, or an aspiring new member, you are very welcome to do so. See the information box for the fee that will apply.

Wednesday 1 November 2017
Doors open at 5.30pm
Presentation starts at 6pm

Orams Marine Village
142 – 160 Beaumont Street
Westhaven Auckland


For Members, registration is free.
For non-members, the registration fee is $40 to be paid to WISTA NZ INC, ASB A/C 12-3216-0084913-00 mentioning “Event 1 November”.

Registration is essential. Please rsvp by 25 October to


Our mailing address is:                                                 
Secretary WISTA NZ
c/o INTENT Group Ltd
PO Box 331523 Takapuna 0740

Barbara Versfelt – President;  Helen Murray – Vice president; Kerri-Anne Tenkate – Secretary; Elizabeth Bentley – Treasurer; Yoyo Chu – Member




Railway from Picton to Christchurch closes again after wet start to October

A wet start to October has caused slips to come down on the Main North Line, which is expected to remain closed until the end of the month.

The newly rebuilt railway line from Picton to Christchurch could be closed for the rest of the month after recent rain brought slips down across the tracks.

Hundreds of spectators turned up to watch the first freight train since the November earthquake take the Main North Line on September 15.

The celebration was short lived. Heavy rain closed the track after the one train went through. It reopened 10 days later, but has closed again.

Hundreds turned up to watch the first freight train since the November earthquake take to the track on September 15. The ...



KiwiRail blamed the latest closure on an unusually wet start to October for the Kaikōura region.

Acting chief executive David Gordon said the “unusually heavy rainfall” caused 31 slips in the area, including three major slips onto the railway line and next to State Highway 1.

He said KiwiRail was working to “make repairs and add resilience” ahead of the peak freight period.

“At this stage we expect services to operate on the line again at the end of this month.”

KiwiRail ran two freight trains each weeknight on the line, leaving it clear during the day and over the weekend for additional repairs to the track and SH1.

Gordon said some disruption was always possible with the limited reopening, but the rain created “much greater disruption than we could reasonably predict”.

He said KiwiRail regretted the impact on customers – and that they could not take some of the freight burden away from the Lewis Pass, which is on the alternative highway route while SH1 is repaired.

KiwiRail previously claimed the Main North Line reopening would take 2000 trucks a month of the road, a figure some in the industry disputed.

At the last closure, general group manager network services Todd Moyle said the Main North Line was likely to shut up to 25 days a year, based on its current state.

MetService forecaster Cameron Coutts said Kaikōura had received 84 millimetres of rain so far in October, which was “well above” the month’s average of 57mm.

He said it should be dry and relatively warm before showers returned on Monday and Tuesday. A “settled spell” was expected for the latter half of next week.

“In saying that, we’re still in spring, so it’s still pretty changeable,” Coutts said.

 – Stuff

CentrePort to invest $63m in strengthening waterfront land after quake

Work at CentrePort to stabilise the container cranes, with a bespoke platform within the wharf.

Work at CentrePort to stabilise the container cranes, with a bespoke platform within the wharf.

CentrePort has set aside $63 million to strengthen its land on Wellington’s waterfront after November’s 7.8 magnitude quake caused significant damage.

The ratepayer-owned company is now consulting international experts to help figure out what the work will be.

To date, CentrePort has spent $28m securing 125 metres of the 585-metre wharf, which included 644 gravel columns being set in the ground to reduce any liquefaction from future earthquakes and provide resilience to the temporary works.

Chief executive Derek Nind​ said they were now looking to how to do that across the entire port.

“We try not to talk about rebuild, we talk about regeneration. And what do I mean by that?

CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind.

CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind.

“What I mean is if we go to rebuild, we’ll get what we had, which was 20th century assets and 20th century thinking,” Nind said.

“What we need is 21st century assets for the next 50 to 100 years, and we need to regenerate the port.”

To date, CentrePort has received $173.7m of insurance income, but that figure was expected to rise.

On Tuesday, insurers agreed Statistics House should be demolished, as the Kaikōura earthquake caused the partial ...

On Tuesday, insurers agreed Statistics House should be demolished, as the Kaikōura earthquake caused the partial collapse of two floors.

“We got hit, but we’ve been working hard on getting the business back up and running,” Nind said.

On Tuesday, insurers agreed Statistics House should be demolished, as the Kaikōura earthquake caused the partial collapse of two floors.

Meanwhile, the future of BNZ Harbour Quays remains uncertain, as engineers continue with assessments.

CentrePort’s underlying profit, after tax and before earthquake-related income, was $8.6m for the year ending June 2017. This was down $4.7m from the previous year.

“The results show us investing in the port’s resilience. They also show strong underlying performance.”

 – Stuff

WISTA International elects new President and Secretary

Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) elected Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, CEO of TOTOTHEO Maritime, as International President and Diane Edwards, General Manager People, Systems and Technology Ports of Auckland as International Secretary at their 37th International Annual General Meeting in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on October 4, 2017.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou is the CEO of TOTOTHEO Maritime, a leading maritime technology and satellite communications enablement business. She has served on the Executive Committee of WISTA International as Secretary for the last two years and is the founding President of WISTA Cyprus. Panayiotou Theodosiou is on the board of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber. She is taking over the position from Karin Orsel, CEO of MF Shipping Group, who has held this role for the last six years.

“It is an honour to take over the role of President of WISTA, supporting and serving an association whose potential I believe in and support. WISTA has an important role in the shipping industry and it is one we should embrace, remaining true to the values and identity that make us what we are. I take over this role from Karin Orsel who has achieved much in her tenure, both in growing our association and giving it a stronger sense of value” said Panayiotou Theodosiou.

WISTA Int’l Executive Committee

Diane Edwards is the General Manager People, Systems and Technology at the Ports of Auckland Limited. Working with the port since 2011 following a consultancy roll at the New Zealand Ministry of Transport and roles with P&O Nedlloyd and Maersk New Zealand, Diane has had an eclectic career which includes teaching, banking, accounting, IT, training change management and human resources. In her six years with Ports of Auckland Limited she has helped revitalize the port through technological innovation and coalition building with the port workers.

WISTA International is the leading network of decision making women in shipping and trading around the world. WISTA International is guided by the Executive Committee: Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President, WISTA Cyprus; Diane Edwards, Secretary, WISTA New Zealand; Rachel Lawton, Treasurer, WISTA UK; Jeannie Grasso, Member, WISTA USA; Sangam Gupta, Member, WISTA India;Katerina Stathopoulou, Member, WISTA Hellas; Naa Densua Aryeetey, Member, WISTA Ghana.

Representing nearly 3,000 members in 40 countries around the world, WISTA promotes increased competency, knowledge and development for women in the maritime industry. WISTA International members work in all sectors of the maritime industry, including finance, ship building, seafarers, governing and regulatory bodies, brokers and more. The International body meets annually to vote on protocols, guidelines and strategic direction. 32 Countries were represented at the 2017 International Annual Meeting. More than 280 individuals attended the parallel conference on Future-Proof Maritime Solutions.
Source: WISTA

Cubic resumes inter-island rail service

We have good news and bad news about the resumption of limited rail services.

Cubic has access to a limited number of container slots on one of the two daily trains each way between Picton and Christchurch.  These slots are very expensive in the post-earthquake freight environment, due to scarcity and the need for KiwiRail to recover costs.

Slots on these services are available on a “take or pay” basis.  Meaning a confirmed booking is charged for whether or not the container is presented prior to cut off.

A wait list system is operating but there is no discount or other latitude with wait-listed bookings.

If you want rates for inter-island rail services please email

For an update on Kaikoura earthquake recovery click here to download NZTA’s latest bulletin.


Port Taranaki 60 per cent dividend increase projected after ‘challenging’ year

Port Taranaki ceo Guy Roper forecasted stable future after challenging year.

Port Taranaki ceo Guy Roper forecasted stable future after challenging year.

Despite a $3 million drop in revenue in the past 12 months Port Taranaki remains optimistic about its prospects in the coming year.

Profits dropped 6.5 per cent in the 2016-2017 financial year and total trade dipped by 1.4 per cent resulting in a $3 million loss in revenue, from $44.7m to $41.7m, it was reported at the annual general meeting.

Reduced shipping activity, lower oil commodity prices and a fall in the stock feed market all contributed to the lower revenue and profit, Port Taranaki Ltd ceo Guy Roper said.

Increase in log exports from Port Taranaki will help shareholder returns

Increase in log exports from Port Taranaki will help shareholder returns

However, a record year for log revenue – which was up almost 30 per cent on the year before – is expected to continue and would boost the dividend paid to sole share holder the Taranaki Regional Council, Roper said.

Dividends were expected to grow by more than 60 per cent, from  $4.9 million to $8m, in the next financial year and would help offset regional rates.

Cruise ships and logs vital for Port Taranaki

Cruise ships and logs vital for Port Taranaki

Roper said the past financial year had been “challenging” for the company.

The number of ships arriving at the port dropped 10 per cent due to the international trend of larger vessels exchanging bigger parcels of cargo, which meant fewer visits, while lower LPG production also meant less ships arrived in port.

As well, the stock feed market dropped and customers reduced costs by sharing cargo space.

But the outlook for the new financial year was stable and revenue, profit and cargo volumes were forecast to be in line with the 2016-2017 results across all sectors, he said.

Under an agreement with BP New Zealand, to start in October, larger amounts of petrol and diesel could now be shipped in, stored and distributed throughout the region to reduce costs, he said.

The oil and gas industry remained Port Taranaki’s largest sector, and the ongoing challenging oil commodity price environment impacted on port business, Roper said.

Methanol volumes were strong during the year while crude, condensate and LPG volumes were weak. However, there were positive signs for future offshore exploration, he said.

Roper said log volumes were projected to lift in the coming year after another record 12 months, which saw a 36 per cent increase in industry standard log tonnage through the port and a 29 per cent increase in log revenue.

A combination of favourable market conditions, low inventory levels in China, and large numbers of harvest-ready trees in the port’s catchment area saw 460,000 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard) logs exported. JAS is an industry standard measurement approximately equal to 1 tonne.

The port company planned to stack logs higher and look at developing more land to accommodate growth, Roper said.

“We are also examining means to extend our forestry catchment area and service the growing demand by developing a combined road-rail transport mode for logs.

“With rail facilities direct to the Blyde Wharf we are exploring ways to make this practical and economically viable.”

The company would remain flexible and adaptable with a focus on making a return on shareholder’s funds to make a real difference to the Taranaki economy, Roper said.

“To achieve this in the current climate, we need to carefully review our costs across the business and this is something we will be assessing in the coming months.”

The forecasted lift in the milk price, to more than $6 kilogram/milksolids, would help boost dry bulk trade and the local economy.

Outgoing chairman John Auld​ said the dividend increase reflected the company’s view on the retention of capital versus returning capital to the shareholder.

Port Taranaki was vital to the Taranaki economy, he said.

​”This includes providing an appropriate return on our shareholder’s investment for the betterment of the Taranaki community.”


Port Taranaki financial results 2016-2017:

Revenue down 6.7 per cent, or $3m ($44.7m to $41.7m)

Net profit before tax down 6.5 per cent to $11.5m

Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) down 3.3 per cent, or $0.6m ($19.6 million to $19.0 million)

Operating costs down 6.5 per cent ($29m)

Total trade down 1.4 per cent (5.2m/t to 5.08m/t).

Exports up 1 per cent.

Imports down 15 per cent.

Dairy dry bulk volume 17 per cent down, down 25 per cent revenue.

Oil and gas bulk liquids down 2 per cent .

Exploration related work down 38 per cent

 – Taranaki Daily News