The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and KiwiRail are welcoming the release this week of the Upper North Island Freight Story, a new publication which outlines key issues and opportunities to help move freight more efficiently through the region.
The Freight Story was developed over the past twelve months by seven North Island councils comprising the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA), working together with the NZTA, KiwiRail, Auckland Transport, industry groups, ports and freight operators to identify critical issues and to create a shared evidence base that will enable better future decision making.
UNISA is made up of Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council.
NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said the NZTA, KiwiRail and Auckland Transport worked closely with UNISA through the process to identify ways of reducing the costs of doing business in New Zealand - through an upper North Island lens.
“More than fifty five percent of New Zealand’s freight travels through the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, and collectively these regions generate over half of New Zealand’s gross domestic product, so the efficient movement of freight through the upper North Island is vital to New Zealand’s economic success. This partnership is an example of the kind of collaboration and joined up thinking that we’ll need to see more of in the years ahead to deliver the high performing transport system that New Zealand needs to grow and prosper.
“By working together we know we can improve New Zealand’s supply chains across the entire freight system – not only on local roads, state highways, the rail network, coastal shipping, ports and airports, but we can also look at the way goods transfers to other modes, and the regulatory services that govern freight.”
KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn said that in delivering an efficient freight network for New Zealand it was important that KiwiRail worked together with other network providers to find integrated solutions.
“Because rail is such an integral part of the country’s freight networks it is an important opportunity to work across the sector to better understand freight flows and industry requirements into the future.”
The development of the Freight Story saw representatives from across multiple sectors identify and rank the critical issues that they believe are limiting New Zealand’s ability to reduce the cost to do business. The focus was on the upper North Island, with an evidence base for each of the critical issues identified for inclusion in the Story.
A full copy of the Upper North Island Freight Story Summary of Critical Issues and Shared Evidence Base documents are available on the NZTA website, at www.nzta.govt.nz/planning/process/freight-north-island.html(external link).
Key actions from the Story will inform the relevant partner organisations’ work programme for 2013 and beyond. The shared evidence base has been developed by the ten partner organisations to provide decision makers with a greater depth of information relating to the critical issues identified and will be used as a key reference for any relevant freight related decisions by the partner organisations.
The Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA) is made up of Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council. UNISA is collaborating with Auckland Transport, KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency to work together on initiatives to reduce the cost to do business in New Zealand - through an upper North Island lens. The ten partner organisations have worked together, involving industry, freight operators, ports and local government to decide on the key critical issues and opportunities where the collective partner focus could help deliver freight efficiencies, and to create a shared evidence base that will enable better future decision making.
The organisations involved share the view that to plan and invest smarter, and deliver better certainty for industry and investors, they need to understand the picture at an upper North Island scale, and work together on the critical priorities that will add the most value. The shared evidence base builds a picture for the identified issues to help the organisations make better, well informed, decisions.
More than fifty five percent of New Zealand’s freight travels through the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, and collectively these regions generate over fifty percent of New Zealand’s gross domestic product. The freight task is growing and improving freight efficiency reduces the cost of trade, which can result in reducing the cost of goods for all New Zealanders while increasing the competitive advantage for our country’s importers and exporters.