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Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand

The Maritime Union has welcomed a new report on coastal shipping released today by Minister of Transport the Hon. Michael Wood.

The Coastal Shipping Investment Approach State-of-Play report was commissioned by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, to help determine priorities for $30 million of funding earmarked for coastal shipping in the 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the report has drawn on a wide range of input from the maritime industry and identified important areas for work.

He says it is good to see core issues being identified, including the need for practical measures to build the coastal shipping mode up to its potential.

“Issues such as a national ports strategy and the importance of supply chain security are highlighted in this report, which the Maritime Union endorses.”

Mr Harrison says that the important step now is to quickly advance practical outcomes from the report, as New Zealand was in the middle of a global supply chain crisis.

He says he is concerned that Marsden Point moving from a refinery to an import terminal could take New Zealand coastal tankers off the coast.

“This would be moving in exactly the opposite direction to the recommendations of this report, so the Government needs to take action on ensuring New Zealand coastal tankers remain in service.”

Mr Harrison says the Maritime Union is in regular discussions with shipping operators to build our coastal shipping capability.