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New report highlights local freight sector needs

A report released today by Te Waka brings together perspectives from major freight and logistics industry players in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty on the actions needed to support the sector’s growth and progress.  

The first of its kind, The Waikato & Bay of Plenty Freight Action Plan shares industry leaders’ views on eight priority issues for the region to act on. Te Waka is proud to have facilitated the development of this action plan.  

“The freight and logistics sector is already one of the key drivers of economic development in our region and we anticipate strong future growth as freight volumes increase and key industry investments come onstream in the coming months and years,” said Hamish Bell, Chair of Te Waka.  

“These investments are significant in their own right, and also create a platform for wider investment for other industries to grow. This is why we have identified the sector as a key platform for growth and why we’ve brought together industry leaders to develop a consensus view of the priority needs and actions. The end result is a unique and important perspective on freight, logistics and transport priorities.” 

The eight priority actions identified in the report are to:  

  • Advocate for and participate in a study that takes a system-wide view of capacity across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, including key links to Auckland, with bottlenecks/constraints identified and prioritised.  

  • Advocate for and participate in a study that assesses the resilience of critical network assets, and identifies mitigation plans to limit potential disruption, including the Kaimai Tunnel, and SH29 (Kaimai Ranges). 

  • Encourage the completion of regionally significant road capital projects – including SH1, SH2, SH29 and the Southern Links projects.  

  • Support the continuation of expenditure on road maintenance, to maintain the assets we currently have in the Waikato region.  

  • Support the continuation of expenditure on road maintenance, to maintain the assets we currently have in the Bay of Plenty region.  

  • Accelerate the Road to Success Programme for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions by socialising the programme and advocating for more funding / support.  

  • Provide support for truck drivers to be on the New Zealand immigration skills shortage list for the Waikato / Bay of Plenty region. 

  • Take a leadership position in the roll out of hydrogen infrastructure in New Zealand.  

The report also identifies other issues of importance to the sector, but where consensus on solutions is currently lacking, including inland ports and other freight aggregators, seaports, and price competitiveness of rail.  

Given the importance of freight and logistics to our region – both as an industry in its own right and as an enabler for other industries – we believe it is essential for the region’s prosperity that we move forward with addressing the issues industry has identified,” Mr Bell said.  

“Our next step will be to work with industry and local and central government stakeholders to deliver on these actions.”  

Te Waka developed The Waikato & Bay of Plenty Freight Action Plan in partnership with Priority One, EY, Tainui Group Holdings, Fonterra, KiwiRail, Port of Tauranga, Netlogix and Mondiale.  

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