Thursday, March 31, 2011

Commission Inquiry Into Freight And The Supply Chain

In Depth Analysis of Requirements for Growth
Shipping News Feature

NEW ZEALAND - A inquiry by the Productivity Commission is to take place in which the agency’s brief is to study the country’s infrastructure and regulatory regime are best suited to promote growth in the international freight sector. The Commission will evaluate the factors influencing the accessibility and efficiency of international logistics services available to New Zealand firms, and opportunities to improve the overall performance of the supply chain for the nation’s shippers.

The New Zealand Productivity Commission was first mooted in 2009 with the intent of establishing a permanent body, independent to a degree from government influence, whose task is to provide unbiased, high quality analysis of any subject proposed by ministers with the aim of attaining higher growth and establishing improvements in regulation. The Commission is financed by funds redirected from a cross section of other government agencies. This inquiry, the first announced for the new body, in tandem with one on housing, will focus particularly on how current regulatory standards affect the freight community and also several relevant key factors specific to the needs of New Zealand freight purchasers.

The Commission will pay particular attention to the way the Shipping Act 1987 and the Civil Aviation Act 1990 are framed and whether they should be instead part of the Commerce Act 1986 from which certain aspects of ocean and air freight are currently exempted. It must produce a thorough report by April 2012 on how geography affects trade compared with other countries and by what degree New Zealand is reliant on overseas companies with regard to export and import freight. Minister for Regulatory Reform, Rodney Hide, said of the inquiry:

"International freight issues are vitally important to us as a nation of exporters, located a long way from major world markets. Increasing our international trade is a critical part of achieving better productivity growth and ensuring New Zealanders maintain and increase their standard of living.”