Supply Chain Council of European Union |

New COVID Case Shows Urgent Need For Coastal Shipping Reform

A port worker’s positive test for COVID-19 has
highlighted the need to limit the number of international
ports in New Zealand and implement domestic coastal shipping
on a hub and spoke model, says the Maritime Union of New

Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says
the risk of having international ships carry domestic
freight between all of New Zealand’s ports has been raised
by the union repeatedly. “Right now nearly all of our
domestic sea freight is carried by international ships
running international crews who are not covered by New
Zealand law. It means that every single one of our ports is
an international border point and it puts our members and
the public at risk.

“That doesn’t make any sense.
Other nations run a small number of international ports as
hubs for their protected domestic sea freight which give
them greater control of their border security and of their
supply chains.

“There’s a reason our international
airports are limited to large sites that can resource strong
border security, we should be doing the same with our ports.
There should be two in the North Island and two in the South
Island provisioned to be secure and safe points of entry for

“All other cargo should be shifted by New
Zealand flagged vessels that operate under our law and are
staffed by people from our team of five million. This kind
of arrangement is standard for many of our trading partners
and is how we used to do things before the deregulation of
the industry in the 1990’s.

“Domestically run
coastal shipping offers greater border security, lower
carbon emissions and road congestion, more economic security
and stronger regional supply chains.

“We’ve been
talking to the government about this for a while and both
Labour and the Greens have repeatedly backed the need to
strengthen New Zealand flagged coastal shipping. It’s time
to accelerate that

© Scoop Media


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