Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand
The campaign for fuel security met with the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Grant Robertson in Wellington yesterday to discuss the imminent threat to the future of New Zealand coastal fuel tankers.
Ship’s officers, marine engineers and seafarers were represented at the meeting, with industry professionals stating their concerns about unprecedented changes to New Zealand’s 120 year established fuel supply chain.
Following the announced closure of the Marsden Point oil refinery, individual petrol companies are planning to import fuel directly to New Zealand ports on overseas tankers.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the proposed deadline to take New Zealand coastal tankers out of service on 1 April is alarming the maritime and wider transport industry.
“There are multiple holes in the petrol companies plans, which will expose New Zealand to unacceptable risks in our fuel supply chain.”
Mr Harrison says the campaign has asked the Government to act immediately to preserve the role of New Zealand coastal tankers until a thorough risk analysis has been completed with involvement of the industry.
“New Zealand tankers and their crews being removed from our coast will leave New Zealand exposed to potential supply chain issues and fuel shortages.”
He says maintaining Marsden Point as a distribution hub for New Zealand tankers to collect fuel from is a clear and straightforward option with no cost to the taxpayer.
The campaign for fuel security Save Our Tankers is comprised of the Maritime Union of New Zealand representing seafarers, the New Zealand Merchant Service Guild representing ship’s masters and officers, and the Aviation and Marine Engineers Association representing marine engineers.
A new campaign had been set up to raise awareness of the situation including the website fuelsecurity.nz