The Transport Minister’s release of a KiwiRail report to justify his axing of the vital East-West Link and other important roading projects just doesn’t stack up, National Party Transport Spokesperson Judith Collins says.
“Of course there should be continued investment in rail but that should not be at the expense of new and better roads which would have real congestion and economic benefits.
“Mr Twyford obviously knows that so he’s released an old KiwiRail report which he claims justifies his bad ideas.
“But the report ultimately doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know – better transport networks make it easier to get around, and reduce congestion and lost productivity, whether it’s road or rail. The previous National-led Government recognised that through record investment in both.
“We funded half of the $3.4 billion CRL for example and invested $1.8 billion to upgrade and electrify the Auckland metro rail network. This was part of a total of around $5 billion invested in rail in our time on government and we campaigned on doing more because of its benefits as part of national transport network, alongside road and marine.
“But while rail will reduce congestion so will better roads like the new Waterview Tunnel and the planned East-West Link which Mr Twyford has canned. He has also shelved other major and important roading projects which would also reduce congestion and provide significant economic benefits.
“Axing those projects will have real costs and he’s simply doing it to satisfy the Labour-Greens-NZ First love of rail – one of the few areas the three parties can actually agree.
“Mr Twyford is obviously starting to realise his arguments don’t stack up so he is desperately looking for justification for them. He needs to continue with the record infrastructure investment of the previous Government and get on with the job of building the transport infrastructure New Zealand needs to continue to get ahead,” Ms Collins says.
A return to 100 per cent jet fuel allocations at Auckland Airport is a great start to the school holidays for airlines and their customers, Energy and Resource Minister Judith Collins says.
Two weeks ago the fuel allocation was reduced to 30 per cent following the disruption to supply through the Marsden Refinery to Auckland pipeline. Fuel allocations were increased incrementally to 50 per cent then 80 per cent as alternatives to transporting fuel to Auckland Airport were found.
“Getting back to 100 per cent fuel allocation this morning is great news for the start of the school holidays. It is the result of the co-operation between government and industry in managing a complex logistical exercise in moving fuel through alternative routes by land, air and sea,” Ms Collins says.
“It should be noted that the Marsden Refinery to Auckland pipeline while repaired, will be operating at 80 per cent capacity into the New Year. However, the industry is confident that the pipeline will be able to deliver the amounts of jet fuel airlines need to operate normally.
“Trucks will continue transporting the 1.5 million litres of jet fuel stored at Wynyard Wharf until the tank is empty, which is expected to be toward the end of next week.
“It’s also good to hear from the industry that there are no longer any short-term outages at stations in Auckland. The pipeline is increasingly being used to deliver petrol and diesel into Auckland, which is continuing progress to normal supply. The fuel companies are looking at their logistics to ensure use of the pipeline and fuel being trucked in from outside of Auckland is balanced, and continues to ensure demand is met.”
A focus on co-operation and innovation has helped meet the challenge of the Marsden Point pipeline disruption, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says.
“While work continues behind the scenes, we have made significant progress,” Ms Collins says.
“The first batch of 91 petrol is expected to flow down the pipeline on Friday. This is a significant milestone on the path back to normal supply.
“Today is also the first day that there are no fuel-related cancellations at Auckland Airport, though there are still some minor disruptions.
“It is important to recognise that it will take time for fuel stocks in Auckland to be replenished, and the increased amount of trucking around the city is expected to remain for at least a week to 10 days.
“The response to the pipeline disruption was a highly complex logistical exercise, which meant unique solutions were needed to ensure fuel could continue to be delivered,” Ms Collins says.
“We have seen some really innovative thinking come out of the response. Over the past 13 days work arounds, such as enabling transfer of jet fuel by truck from Marsden Refinery to Auckland, plane-to-plane-refuelling at Auckland Airport, and converting chemical tanks at Wynyard to receive and store jet fuel have occurred.
“The repair work on the pipeline was achieved within a week of the extent of the seriousness of the leak being confirmed, but not at the expense of safety and quality.
“The fuel supply and aviation industries are to be commended as well for the complex rescheduling, re-routing and technical solutions they have implemented.
“The New Zealand Defence Force also rose to the task helping with the Wynyard Wharf solution and providing sea and land support including the deployment of the HMNZS ENDEAVOUR and supplying 20 drivers.
“While great progress has been made with a return to largely ‘business as usual’, the government continues to be closely involved in monitoring the situation and remains on stand-by to scale up its current assistance if required,” Ms Collins says.
Auckland Airport operations are returning to business as usual as progress continues to be made restoring supply via the fuel pipeline, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says.
“The fuel industry remains cautiously optimistic as solid progress is being made. The pipeline will be operating at its current allowable capacity from late today and jet fuel allocations were increased from 50 to 80 per cent effective midnight last night,” Ms Collins says.
“Two million litres of jet fuel has now arrived at Auckland Airport’s JUHI storage facility, and 15 million litres is expected to be available by the end of the week.”
Trucks have begun transporting jet fuel from the 1.5 million litres stored at Wynyard Wharf, and jet fuel continues to be trucked from the Marsden Point refinery to the Airport.
“Stocks of both jet fuel and fuel for Auckland motorists are replenishing. In the coming days the fuel industry will be looking at the sequencing of different types of fuel down the pipeline. This takes us a further step toward normal supply.”
“While the situation is improving day-by-day, there continues to be a lot of work going on behind the scenes. I’m particularly impressed by the way industry has worked together to minimise disruption as much as possible.
“Government continues to be closely involved in monitoring the situation and remains on stand-by to provide further assistance if required,” Ms Collins says.
“It may be another week before the allocation to airlines is back at 100% but they are doing a great job at managing this constraint.
“Flights in and out of Auckland Airport have now largely returned to normal operations, with only three international flight cancellations today. No domestic flights have been cancelled.”
The fuel industry is cautiously optimistic as the pipeline disruption situation continues to improve, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says.
“With the pipeline successfully repaired, the first two million litre batch of jet fuel is on track to arrive at Auckland Airport late tonight, subject to necessary settling and testing. Planes are expected to fuelled using this supply from the early hours of Tuesday morning. Another five million litres should be available through the pipeline from Wednesday,” Ms Collins says.
“The amount of fuel being trucked from Marsden Point refinery to the Airport continues to increase, with 184,000 litres expected to be delivered today. This is more than twice the amount delivered on Friday.
“More jet fuel should be available from Wednesday, with trucks transporting stocks stored at Wynyard Wharf. NZDF will be providing expert support around the use of their fuel filter that has been provided at Wynyard.
“While industry is responding well and I am encouraged by the improving situation, it’s important to realise that we are recovering from a 10 day disruption to normal supply.
“Industry remains cautiously optimistic but there’s still plenty of work to do. Government continues to monitor the situation and is ready to provide industry further assistance, if required.
“Flights in and out of Auckland Airport are continuing to look very much like business as usual, with only four international flight cancellations today. No domestic flights have been cancelled.”
Jet fuel has started to arrive to the Wiri terminal from Marsden Point, and is expected to reach Auckland Airport by Tuesday, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says.
“The new section of pipeline has been welded, certified, pressurised and the first batch of jet fuel is now arriving at the Wiri terminal in South Auckland. Once it has finished arriving at Wiri, it will take 30 hours for the fuel to settle. It is expected to be ready to load on planes from the early hours of Tuesday morning,” Ms Collins says.
“While great progress has been made on restoring supply through the pipeline, government and industry are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure fuel is still getting where it needs to be.
“The Matuku has now offloaded 1.5 million litres of jet fuel and 7.9 million litres of diesel, at Auckland’s Wynyard Wharf, and this fuel will be ready for distribution by Wednesday, if not sooner.
“Three trucks are going between Marsden Point and Auckland Airport twice daily, with five trucks expected on the road on Monday. More than 140,000 litres of jet fuel was trucked to Auckland Airport yesterday, with 151,000 litres expected to arrive today.
“Airlines are continuing to operate their networks on the 50 per cent fuel allocation from Auckland, with increasing stability and minimal disruption to passengers. The number of flight cancellations has been steadily decreasing, with no domestic flight cancellations this weekend, only five fuel-related cancellations to international flights yesterday, and two expected today,” Ms Collins says.
“It’s fantastic to see the continual progress that is being made, and everything remaining on track.”
Fuel allocations to airlines at Auckland Airport have been increased and flight schedules are returning to normal, as the fuel pipeline repair is on track to be completed well before school holidays begin, says Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins.
“Auckland Airport is returning to business as usual, with the expected number of cancellations today dropping to seven – almost two thirds fewer than the number of cancelations yesterday and down from 37 cancellations on Wednesday. We are confident there will be no disruption to travel plans for the upcoming school holidays.
“Airlines have been effectively managing fuel consumption, and allocations have been relaxed from 30 per cent to a 50 per cent allocation.
“The easing of rationing shows the industry’s confidence in the progress of the repair, as Refining NZ reports the welding of the new section of pipeline has been completed and has passed its first testing.
“To further increase supply, fuel companies expect to discharge jet fuel and diesel into Wynyard Wharf over the weekend which should be available to transport to the airport, mid next week, subject to quality tests.
“NZTA has plans in place to safely manage traffic in Wynyard and around the airport, however motorists travelling to the airport are advised to allow additional travel time.
Trucks are successfully moving jet fuel from Marsden Point to Auckland Airport. Two trucks have made deliveries this morning so far.
“Retail fuel supply in Auckland remains secure, though a small number of service stations in Auckland may be temporarily out of stock of 95 Octane today, as tankers prioritise delivery of 91 and diesel.
“Government and industry will continue cooperative efforts to ensure Auckland keeps moving, and disruption is minimised.
Progress on the pipeline repair, and alternative jet fuel supply options mean that pipeline related disruptions will continue to ease from tonight, Minister for Energy and Resources Judith Collins says.Airline fuel allocations will move from 30 per cent to 50 per cent at midnight tonight. Air New Zealand has advised that it is expecting to operate its regular schedule tomorrow with no fuel related cancellations. Chief Executives have been advised that travel restrictions for public servants will be lifted.
“Central and local government have taken significant measures to both fix the problem and reduce the impact, and will continue to work with the industry.”
HMNZ Endeavour will arrive in Marsden point tonight. The New Zealand Defence Force has 20 drivers working with industry to transport Jet fuel to Auckland Airport. They will carry between 500,000 and 700,000 litres in a 24 hour period. Which is significant when airlines are drawing approximately 1million litres per day. In addition the NZDF is providing significant logistical support.
“This is great news. I am heartened that we were able to work so well, and so effectively, with minimal disruption.”
The government and industry continue to work to maintain the fuel supply into Auckland, with offers of support from New Zealand Defence Force having been accepted by industry, says Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins.
“The HMNZS Endeavour has been deployed and 20 NZDF Category 5 tanker drivers will be on the roads from today to support industry and minimise any disruption.
“With the HMNZS Endeavour able to transport up to 4.8 million litres of diesel fuel around the country – the equivalent of 150 tankers – this will allow the industry to focus more of their resources on Auckland.”
The HMNZS Endeavour departed from Devonport at 11am this morning to sail to Marsden Point, where it will be loaded up with diesel fuel for delivery to ports in New Zealand.
“While the allocation of fuel to airlines remains at 30 per cent, we are beginning to see the number of flight cancellations drop, reflecting the good management of the airlines with these restrictions.
“I’ve heard from Auckland Airport the number of expected cancellations has dropped to 14 today, which is eight international and six domestic flights. This is a significant reduction on the 36 flights cancelled yesterday. I expect disruption will continue to reduce.
“Refining NZ say repairs to the damaged section of the pipe are going well, with one of the four welds having been completed, and I have been advised they remain on track for the pipeline to be restored between Sunday 24 September and Tuesday 26 September.
“The government will continue to do everything it can to support industry efforts to address the disruption.”
A joint industry-government group has been convened to oversee the full re-instalment of jet fuel supplies into Auckland airport, says Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins.
“The Group is coordinating the responses to the supply issues arising from the Marsden Point fuel pipeline outage.
“It includes representatives from ExxonMobil, Z Energy, BP, Air New Zealand, KiwiRail, Auckland Council, Auckland Airport, Auckland Transport, New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, and the Ministry of Transport.
“The Group is working full time until issues are resolved, to streamline information flows and ensure logistics are effectively managed.
“It is part of the government’s wider response to support industry efforts to address the disruption,” Ms Collins says.
The government is moving on several fronts in transport to do everything possible to improve supply, including making it easier for carriers to get overweight permits so tankers can (safely) carry more fuel.
There is already an existing procedure for permitting overweight vehicles and New Zealand Transport Agency is working with industry to get the required permits. Twelve permits have been issued so far.
Importantly, certain checks are still required to ensure the routes cause minimal disruption to the roading network. This is being worked out as quickly as possible to get more fuel trucks moving.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is providing significant logistical support to assist in the movement of fuel and taking measures to supplement supply.
The government and industry have asked NZDF to deploy the HMNZS Endeavour to Marsden Point. The Endeavour will set sail for Marsden Point at 11am tomorrow.
NZDF is offering the fuel industry the use of trucks and drivers and is currently finalising logistics.
Immigration NZ is providing advice to clients whose NZ visa is at risk of expiring due to cancellations or postponements. Any people whose visas are due to expire will be given an electronic visa free of charge.