Business will stall if trucks can’t get moving

New Zealand risks grinding to a halt if we can’t ease freight and supply line challenges. We risk a situation where freight can’t get out of our biggest city and certainly can’t get to the South Island, National’s Transport spokesperson David Bennett says.

“The Government’s ineptitude in vaccinating the New Zealand population has meant lockdowns were inevitable when a community case was discovered.

“The Government has known for 18 months that lockdowns create border issues and has clearly done no planning and meaningful consultation with the affected sectors.

“The commotion of unclear border testing regimes for the regional borders has left the transport sector confused and angry. The Government has done little to clarify what the testing and border rules are and do not seem interested in making the process any easier.

“National MPs are seeing daily reports of constrained supply lines and New Zealand’s vulnerability in getting resources, products, and services around the country has also been exposed in this Delta Covid-19 outbreak.

“Now we have confirmation that two of the three KiwiRail ferries on the Cook Strait will be out of service this month. Again, there seem to be no contingency plans in place.

“This raises many questions over the transport decisions of this Government. The weakness in its obsession with moving transport off roads is being revealed as well, as it hasn’t made realistic commercial decisions to ensure secure supply lines between the North and the South.

“Despite two alert levels separating them, both Auckland and the South Island are being further constrained in ‘Fortress New Zealand’. If business is impossible to conduct and people cannot access the goods they need, it doesn’t matter which alert level Jacinda Ardern tells us we are at. 

“Instead of dreaming about idealistic transport plans they don’t ever deliver on, the Government should be focusing on shoring up vulnerable freight routes across land and sea.”