One of the Government’s best performing Ministers continues to impress.
Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced funding to increase coastal shipping services in New Zealand.
From the Beehive website:
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today.
“Coastal shipping is a small but important part of the New Zealand freight system, which is why the Government is investing in making coastal shipping a more viable alternative to strengthen and diversify our domestic supply chain, helping to secure New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19. As a lower emissions transport mode, investing in coastal shipping will also help us achieve our decarbonisation goals,” Michael Wood said.
The Government has committed $30 million of funding for coastal shipping funding through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) to improve domestic shipping services, reduce emissions, improve efficiency and upgrade maritime infrastructure.
Four preferred suppliers of the services have been identified and it is anticipated will invest a further $60 million in the sector.
The proposal will not only improve resilience, and reduce congestion but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. From the press release:
“When the new services are fully operational, it is estimated they will remove around 35 million kilometres of truck travel from New Zealand’s roading network every year, reducing wear and tear and improving safety for road users, while at the same time creating new employment opportunities for mariners and supporting regional development. This will also support our commitment in the recently released Emissions Reduction Plan to reduce emissions from freight transport by 35 per cent by 2035.
“Through this funding we are taking an important step towards better utilising the blue highway, improving our freight system, and future proofing our national supply chain.
Coastal shipping has withered for years. It is good to see that it is being supported and improved.