The Government is right to examine New Zealand’s tenuous supply chain, but it should not seek to intervene in it beyond being a regulator and infrastructure provider, says the peak body of the road transport industry, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

The Ministry of Transport has recently consulted on New Zealand’s freight and supply chain issues, with Transporting New Zealand providing detailed feedback on behalf of the trucking industry.

“There’s a real risk that Government will try and fiddle with the supply chain, which is essentially an instrument of the market,” says Transporting New Zealand Chief Executive Nick Leggett. “The Government must use light touch regulation and should instead focus on investment in big infrastructure to facilitate better transport links.”

Transporting New Zealand supports the Government’s approach to taking a longer-term view of the supply chain, particularly with regard to decarbonisation of the transport sector.

“Better, safer roads allow more efficient driving, faster travel times and they reduce congestion. These factors all assist in reducing emissions and are why we are calling on the Government to commit to new roading projects urgently.”

93 percent of freight is transported on the road, so more investment in roading maintenance is vital.

“The road transport industry would also not be opposed to investment in such projects as a dry dock that would reduce the time our ships have to be away in Australia for maintenance. We also support co-operation around an offshore freight shipping hub to handle major freight coming into the country, which would pave the way for the greater use of coastal shipping, therefore reducing some reliance on linehaul road transport.”

“Such a hub would also reduce our reliance on international shipping lines who may choose not to call in New Zealand,” says Leggett. “As the report reveals, we are only four percent of the global shipping market and are at the end of the chain. That represents real risk to New Zealand and is where the Government should be concentrating its efforts.”

Please note: The content of this Advisory has been issued to inform members of Transporting New Zealand. It is for road freight transport industry circulation, not for media publication. It can be forwarded in its entirety to members of Transporting New Zealand. It cannot be reproduced, or printed in parts, under any logo other than Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s logo, without written permission from Transporting New Zealand.